Wednesday, March 14, 1962


The Gemini Project Office made a major decision about seat ejection. It is to be initiated manually, with both seats ejected simultaneously in case either ejection system is energized. The seat ejection is to be useful as a way to escape an emergency while on the launchpad, during the initial phase of powered flight (to an altitude of about 60,000 feet), or on reentry following a failure of the paraglider landing system.

The escape system is to include a hatch actuation system, opening the hatches before ejection; a rocket catapult to shoot both seats away from the spacecraft; and parachutes for the astronauts following their separation from the seat. The system is also to provide for survival equipment for the astronauts to use after landing.

The design is to allow for an automatic initiator in case this later becomes a requirement.

In other news the Manned Spacecraft Center issued its second analysis of the Gemini program schedule. This is the first to consider launch vehicles as well as the spacecraft. (The earlier analysis, of just Gemini operations, was published January 5.) Analysis of the Agena vehicles is limited, as their procurement began only with a request the Manned Spacecraft Center sent to Marshall Space Flight Center on January 31 for the eleven Atlas-Agena rendezvous targets believed needed.

The Gemini program is projected to use a number of test articles for engineering development, correcting a problem which had delayed the Mercury Program at times. The first, unmanned, qualification test is projected for late July or early August 1963. The second, manned, flight is now planned for late October or early November 1963. The first Agena flight is projected for late April or early May 1964. The remaining flights in the program are to be at roughly two-month intervals from then until the middle of 1965.

Monday, March 12, 1962


Marshall Space Flight Center delivers to the Gemini Project Office a procurement schedule for Agena target vehicles. The Air Force Space Systems Division is to contract with Lockheed for 11 target vehicles. Space Systems Division is to put the Gemini Agena target vehicle program under the Ranger Launch Directorate.

Marshall expects that the delivery of a main engine qualified for multiple restarts will be in 50 weeks. This is an improvement in development time: the main engine is no longer considered the pacing item in the schedule for Agena development.

Thursday, March 8, 1962


The Manned Spacecraft Center directed North American to design and develop an emergency parachute system for flight test vehicles.  These vehicles, both half-size and full-size, are required for Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program.  The Manned Spacecraft Center authorized North American to subcontract the emergency recovery system to the Radioplane Division of the Northrop Corporation.

The Marshall Space Flight Center composed a procurement schedule for the Agena target vehicles, to be delivered to the Gemini Project Office.

Wednesday, February 28, 1962


The Manned Spacecraft Center allotts $5.2 million to the Marshall Space Flight Center, so that it could procure Atlas-Agena vehicles to be used for Project Gemini.

Marshall is not to spend more than $2 million until a Statement of Work is made definite.

Regularly scheduled meetings are planned to resolve technical and management problems between the Manned Spacecraft Center and Marshall.