On This Day: Gemini 3 Launched From Cape Kennedy.

On this day, March 23rd 1965 the Gemini 3 space mission launched from Cape Kennedy Air Force Station (Now Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) at 14:24 UTC from launch complex 19. Gemini 3 was the first manned mission in NASA’s Gemini program and was the second American manned mission. 

Launching from from LC-19 aboard a Titan II GLV rocket, on March 23, 1965, astronauts Grissom and Young flew three low Earth orbits in their spacecraft, which they nicknamed Molly Brown, after the Broadway musical “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. The mission lasted 4 hours, 52 minutes and 31 seconds.

Gemini 3 astronauts left: Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom and right: John W. Young
Gemini 3 astronauts left: Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom and right: John W. Young

The primary mission goal was to test the new, maneuverable Gemini spacecraft. In space, the astronauts fired thrusters to change the shape of their orbit, shift their orbital plane and to drop to a lower altitude. Some firsts were achieved on Gemini 3 such as two astronauts flew aboard an American spacecraft, and the first manned reentry where the spacecraft was able to actually produce lift to change its touchdown point. 

After their low Earth orbit Grissom and Young returned to Earth and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Turks and Caicos Island in the Caribbean, where they were recovered by the USS Intrepid. 

Video of the full Gemini 3 mission on our YouTube Channel. If you enjoyed the video please like and subscribe to our channel for more videos.


Get more information about this mission on the Official NASA website


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