Neil Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio in the year 1930. His
services as a pilot were called upon during the Korean War. Shortly after
graduating from Purdue University in 1955, Armstrong joined the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, then known as the National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics. At the time the functions of the N.A.C. were to plan,
direct, and conduct all United States aeronautical and space activities, except
for those that were primarily military. Armstrong served as a civilian test
pilot at Edwards Air Base in Lancaster, California. In 1962 Armstrong became
the first civilian to enter the astronaut-training program.
Gemini VII Mission
In March of 1966, Armstrong completed his training and became the
command pilot of the Gemini 8 mission. The crew of this mission was made up of
David R. Scott and himself. In case of any emergencies with the two men before
the launch, either physical or mental, a backup crew was made. The backup crew
consisted of Charles Conrad Junior, and Richard Gordon Junior. The objectives
of the mission were:
A. (Main) Rendezvous and dock with Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV)
and conduct EVA operations.
B. (Secondary) Rendezvous and dock in the 4th revolution. Perform
docked-vehicle maneuvers, Evaluate systems and conduct 10 experiments.
The mission was set to launch on March 15, 1966. Due to minor problems with the
spacecraft and launch vehicle hardware the launch was delayed one day. The
launch was successful. Because of problems with the spacecraft control system,
the crew was forced to undock after approximately thirty minutes. The
spacecraft-target vehicle combination had begun to encounter increasing yaw and
roll rates. The crew regained control of their spacecraft by using the reentry
control system, which prompted and early landing in a secondary landing area in
the Pacific after 10 hours, 41 minutes, and 26 seconds. No EVA was performed.
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