This Day, March 23, In Space: First U.S. Gemini Manned Launch, 1965, & End Of Russian Mir Space Station, 2001.

by Anura Guruge

The INTENTIONAL, re-orbital disintegration of Mir. Click to ENLARGE.

Recovery of the Gemini 3 capsule. Click to ENLARGE.

The Gemini space program was the second U.S. manned program and the first to be able to carry TWO astronauts. Hence the name ‘Gemini’ for twin (or double)!

Gemini 1 & 2 were unmanned trial efforts.

So Gemini 3 was the first manned launch.


It was in space February 20, 1986 to March 23, 2001. It was occupied in space for 4,592 days and made 86,331 orbits of the Earth. A total of 104 people, from 12 countries, spent time on Mir.

It was for a time the largest man made object in orbit — until superseded in every way by the International Space Station (ISS).

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by Anura Guruge

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