Really Never-Before-Seen Images from NASA’s History

A new book showcases images from the forgotten Gemini mission, which taught NASA how to live and work in space
White’s helmet
White’s helmet is equipped with a detachable visor assembly with two sep-arate over visors. The gold film-coated outer visor offers protection against visible sunlight (which is blinding when unfiltered by Earth’s atmosphere) and ultraviolet rays. An inner visor provides protection against micrometeoroids and heat. His chest pack contains an emergency oxygen supply and a ventilation control unit for cooling. The open hatch and its window are reflected in his visor. Bisney/Pickering/University of New Mexico Press

When we think of historic spaceflight programs, we tend to think of Mercury, the first program to send American astronauts into orbit, and Apollo, the program that landed men on the Moon. We don’t often think about the Gemini program, the program that taught NASA to actually work and live in space. The program met the major goals of the Moon landing program: living in space for two weeks, rendezvous and docking, and debuted technologies like fuel cells and spacewalking.

Spaceshots and Snapshots of Projects Mercury and Gemini: A Rare Photographic History by John Bisney and J. L. Pickering, University of New Mexico Press, is available now.

Spaceshots and Snapshots
The First Manned Spacecraft
Rocket Ready for Launch
Go for Orbit
End of an Era
White and McDivitt
White’s Hand-Held Maneuvering Unit (HHMU)
Suit tech Joe Schmitt
Pat McDivitt on a call
White speaks with President Lyndon Johnson
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The Titan II’s two first-stage engines belch smoke down the two-hundred-foot-long concrete flume after ignition at 11:41 a.m. (EST) on March 16, 1966, in this view looking south. The flume leads directly to the obscured flame bucket and can handle 25,000 gallons of water per minute sent through the bucket for cooling and propellant residue neutralizing. Robert Goddard successfully launched the first liquid-fueled rocket forty years to the day earlier from a relative’s Auburn, Massachusetts, farm. Bisney/Pickering/University of New Mexico Press
the white room at LC-19,
The spacecraft is covered with its bridle and parachute lines
Gemini XI’s view of the ATV