Friday, May 4, 1962 – Threats to First Gemini Spacecraft Schedules Identified

The Manned Spacecraft Center has issued its third analysis of the schedule of the Gemini program. The new plan calls for two additional boilerplate spacecraft, in order to help ground testing. Test hardware has begun construction, and plans for the spacecraft ground tests are formed.

The major threat to the schedule for Spacecraft Number 1 appear to be late delivery of components for the instrument and recording systems of the inertial platform. The major threat to the schedule for Number 2 appears to be the delivery of components for communication and electrical systems.

There are no problems with the Titan II boosters anticipated at the moment, and according to the analysis there is no need to change the launch schedule. The first flight of the Gemini program is anticipated for late July or early August 1963, with six-week intervals between the first three flights, and two-month intervals for subsequent flights, until late April or early May 1965. The first Agena mission is anticipated for late February or early March 1964.

Spacecraft Number 2 is meant to be the first to use the paraglider system. A backup parachute landing system is now being prepared in case the paraglider schedule slips.