Splashdowns from Project Gemini (March 1965-November 1966)
(18 Dec. 1965) — Astronauts Frank Borman, command pilot, and James A. Lovell Jr., pilot, sit in life raft while awaiting pickup by a helicopter from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. The three-man Navy frogman team attached the flotation collar to increase the Gemini-7 spacecraft’s buoyancy prior to recovery. Photo credit: NASA
Project Gemini Missions
TODAY IN HISTORY: After two weeks in space, Gemini 7 astronaut Frank Borman comes home on December 18, 1965. As he’s hoisted up to a helicopter, U.S. Navy frogmen prepare the Gemini 7 capsule for pick-up.
A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING – On December 18, 1965, Gemini 7 astronauts Jim Lovell and Frank Borman returned from a two-week voyage in space, splashing down in the Atlantic about 6.4 nautical miles from the targeted landing point. Soon U.S. Navy frogmen from the USS Wasp were there to pick them up. As Frank Borman recalled, “We’d been in the water about ten minutes when we saw a Navy frogman’s face in the right window. He plugged in his inter-phone, and his first words were ‘Merry Christmas.’”
December 18, 1965 – Shortly after returning from a two-week journey in space, Gemini 7 astronaut Jim Lovell undergoes an eye examination during a postflight medical checkup aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp.
December 18, 1965 – Gemini 7 astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell return from two weeks of zero gravity. They’re tired but alright. Says Lovell: “The chief symptom – in fact, the only symptom – which we noticed, was a heaviness of the legs. That’s all.”
TODAY IN HISTORY: Gemini 7 splashes down in the Atlantic after two weeks in space, December 18, 1965. (NASA)
Christmas in Space: Day 15
The crew of Gemini VI spot an unidentified flying object while in orbit over Texas, 1965…
Wally Schirra: Roger, Houston. Gemini 7, this is Gemini 6. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in a polar orbit. He’s in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south and has a very high climbing ratio. It looks like it might even be a… Very low. Looks like he might be going to reenter soon. Stand by one… You might just let me try to pick up that thing…
[Music from Gemini VI]
Jim Lovell (Gemini VII Pilot): We got them too, 6.
Schirra: That was live, 7, not taped.
CAPCOM: You’re too much, 6!