Kuiper beams in front of the Gemini 12 spacecraft.

Gemini XII

Zoomed out image of Kuiper with Gemini 12.

Kuiper is delighted by Gemini 12 at Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL. Swipe to see the full spacecraft. Thanks @adlerplanet for letting Kuiper visit after hours!

This is our last Gemini mission! ♊ On November 11, 1966, Gemini 12 launched from Cape Canaveral with Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin aboard. Jim had previously spent 2 weeks in space aboard Gemini 7, but this was Buzz’s 1st “out of this world” experience. (note: “Farseer Out of This World” is Kuiper’s registered name.)

Gemini 12 was the 1st time we had a truly successful spacewalk (3, actually!) Buzz was the 1st astronaut to train underwater for spacewalks & that training turned out to help a TON. By using weights on spacesuits underwater, we can set astronauts up so that they are neither sinking nor rising. This “neutral buoyancy” does a pretty darn good job of approximating microgravity in space.

In conjunction with better training, NASA gave Buzz a ton more handholds and footholds and a swanky new waist tether (which doubled as a fashionable tool belt.) Not only did Buzz successfully complete his objectives on all 3 EVAs, but he also set a new duration record of 5.5 hours. Nice!

Some of the raddest photos that came out of Gemini were taken on 12. Buzz and Jim were the 1st to observe & photograph a solar eclipse from space. Also, during his 1st EVA, Buzz poked his head out of the hatch and took the very first space selfie! ??

Buzz and Jim returned to Earth on November 15th. On the 23rd, President Lyndon Johnson summed up Project Gemini in a speech:
“In 10 Gemini ♊ flights we acquired..1,940 man-hours of experience compared with the 53 gained in the Mercury program…We proved that men can live and work well in space for twice as long as it takes us to fly to the moon and back…We mastered the techniques of rendezvous and docking..and we used the power of the Agena to fly..higher and faster than man has ever flown before..”

“The Apollo program which follows is much more complicated…The months ahead will not be easy, as we reach toward the moon.” ?

Those months were indeed not easy, as we’ll soon discover. ❤️

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByZbMlgl_8l/

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