The Road to the Moon Landings – Gemini X – Life Magazine, 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.

These documents are not just historical records: they are tributes to the bravery and ingenuity of the astronauts and engineers who took humanity’s first steps into the vastness of space. They celebrate a time when space was a new and dangerous frontier, and each mission captured the world’s imagination.


In July 18, 1966, Gemini X went up. Its purpose was to test out a few things for the future Lunar exploration: Extra-Vehicular Activities, Spacecraft Maneuvering and Docking with another spacecraft (Agena Target Vehicle, ATV), and using ATV’s engine to achieve a boost into a higher orbit, something NASA was testing for a potential Apollo mission use.

Eventually, Apollo mission took a different route, not using ATV for propulsion boost or changing orbits as in Gemini missions, but using three module approach with Command Module (CM), the Service Module (SM), and the Lunar Module (LM).

The future Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins became the first person to perform two extravehicular activities during Gemini X. There were a few memorable photos of the mission — especially the hookup image between Gemini X and Agena — but Collins was unable to take photographs during the spacewalk because his Hasselblad camera worked itself free and drifted away.

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37 thoughts on “The Road to the Moon Landings – Gemini X – Life Magazine, 1966

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