Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spacecraft of the Week #14

A couple weeks ago we honored Gemini VII as the Spacecraft of the Week. This week, we do the same for its counterpart, Gemini VI. Due to the loss of its intended target vehicle, Gemini VI, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, was delayed until after the long-duration mission of Gemini VII began. This was the first time Americans had two spacecraft in orbit simultaneously, and gave mission controllers crucial experience that would be needed by the Apollo missions.

Gemini VI spent many years in the city of its creation, St. Louis, Missouri, at the St. Louis Science Center. In 2003, it was moved to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center where it underwent a cleaning and refurbishment. The pilot door was reattached and the capsule was placed in one of the Comosphere's new spacecraft display cases. It was then moved to Oklahoma City where it spent a few years at the Omniplex Science Museum. In 2007, it moved to the center of the city where it currently resides at the Oklahoma History Center in a display that honors all of Oklahoma's astronauts. It should be noted the Thomas Stafford is a native a Weatherford, Oklahoma, just 30 miles west of Oklahoma City. Occasionally, that helps if you are looking to display a flown spacecraft.

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