Space: Kindergarten Gemini

The Gemini two-men-in-space program, already nine months behind schedule, got off the ground last week. A Martin Marietta Titan II rode from Cape Kennedy trailing orange smoke from its two engines, an unmanned dummy capsule fitted into its nose. The first stage burned for 21 minutes, then the second stage ignited and accelerated to orbital speed. In six minutes the word came back from the tracking system: Gemini was in orbit with a perigee of 99.6 miles and an apogee of 204 miles, almost exactly as planned.

The delay-free smoothness of the launch...

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