Tuesday, May 29, 1962 – Ejection Seat Plans

The development testing plans for the Gemini spacecraft ejection seat were settled in a meeting between representatives of McDonnell, Weber Aircraft, the Gemini Procurement Office, Life Systems Division, Gemini Project Office, and the US Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake, California.

The plan stresses the testing from a stationary tower early in the test program. This reflects the particular need for the Gemini spacecraft to have an off-the-pad abort capability. Unlike the Mercury capsule there is no escape rocket; the seats must be able to get pilots out of range of the fireball expected from a Titan II booster exploding.

Said fireball is expected to reach a maximum radius of about 230 feet within six seconds of an explosion.