The Road to the Moon Landings – Gemini VI – Paris Match, 1966

In the upcoming two weeks, Iconic Photos would cover the NASA missions to the other space and the Moon as they appeared in leading picture magazines of the time: Life, Epoca, Paris-Match, Look, Sunday Times, etc.


In late 1965, Gemini VI, flown by Wally Schirra and Thomas P. Stafford, achieved the first crewed rendezvous with another spacecraft, its sister Gemini VII. Although the USSR had previous spacecraft which came as close as several kilometers of each other, the two Gemini spacecraft came as close as a foot and could have docked if they had equipment to do so.

Paris-Match, in its 1st January 1966 issue was ecstatic. It wrote:

For the first time in the history of the conquest of space, two satellites — launched eleven days apart from Cape Kennedy — have come to meet around the globe. Onboard, four men: Frank Borman and Jim Lovell in Gemini VII, Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford in Gemini VI. It is December 15, at 8:26 p.m. and 14 seconds, French time, that they found themselves face to face 297 km above the Pacific Ocean. Their success heralds a future where caravans of satellites will unite in orbit to form giant stations. It opens the way for the conquest of lunar space which will be done in stages, as explained below in the technical rundown.”

The subsequent images include in-space photography of the two spacecraft, detailed descriptions of the mission, and technical aspects such as the spacecraft’s orbits and maneuvers. The final image shows the return of the Gemini VI astronauts, Schirra and Stafford, with a photo of their ocean recovery.

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7 thoughts on “The Road to the Moon Landings – Gemini VI – Paris Match, 1966

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

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