March 16, 1966 Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon in 1969, and Dave Scott became the seventh in 1971. But first they both had to survive 1966 and that almost didn't happen. Gemini 8 was supposed to be a full-bore mission lasting more than a week, with an Agena docking, a spacewalk and a mass of scientific experiments. Six hours and 34 minutes into the flight, the crew docked with the Agena. Shortly afterward, the linked ships began rolling uncontrollably. Mission Control and crew concluded that the problem was a stuck thruster on the Agena. Armstrong, the command pilot, was ordered to undock. Bad move. Turned out the bum thruster was on the Gemini spacecraft itself and with the mass now reduced, the rotation rate accelerated to 500 r.p.m. nearly enough to cause the crew to lose consciousness. Armstrong engaged backup thrusters, which were reserved for use only during re-entry or emergencies, and stabilized the ship. The crew was promptly ordered home, splashing down just 10 hours after they had blasted off.