Space: Flight to the Finish

Dogged by minor mishaps, determined to go the full route, the men of Gemini 5 aimed for eight days in orbit —and made it. Early this week Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad maneuvered their spacecraft back into the earth's atmosphere over California. Minutes later, at precisely 8:55:58 a.m. (EDT) on Sunday, they splashed down in the Atlantic about 90 miles short of target, soon were picked up by helicopter and lifted to the carrier Lake Champlain. Safe and smiling, they seemed in perfect shape.

Behind them was by far the longest space flight...

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