Atlas Agena launch Sarzin cachet.
Gemini 8 KSC cachet.
|Gemini 8 Swanson cover cancelled on launch day at Cape Canaveral. Signed by Neil Armstrong, Dave Scott's autograph is autopen.|
Gemini 8 "Orbit Covers" cancelled on launch day at Cape Canaveral.
Gemini 8 launch Sarzin cachet.
What followed after the successful docking were some of the most hair-raising moments in the space program history. The Gemini 8 capsule, still docked to the Agena, began to roll continuously. Never having faced such situation in simulation, the crew undocked from the Agena. It was at that point the Gemini spacecraft began to roll even faster, at a rate of one revolution per second! Both astronauts were in danger of impaired vision and loss of consciousness due to the violent motion. The problem was later discovered due to a malfunction thruster on the Gemini spacecraft. The only way to stop the motion was to use the capsule's re-entry control thrusters, which meant that Armstrong and Scott had to cut short their mission and make an emergency return to Earth.
The Gemini capsule landed 500 miles east of Okinawa in the Pacific ocean and a destroyer, USS Leonard Mason, was dispatched to recover the crew and the capsule. Had the spacecraft not made an emergency landing in the Pacific, the USS Boxer carrier in the Atlantic (i.e. the original scheduled recovery area) would be the recovery vessel for Gemini 8.
USS Boxer cover with an early signature of Neil Armstrong on the front and rubber stamp cachet on the back.