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Proposal for Controlled Landing Systems for Project Gemini, ca. 1962

Proposal for Controlled Landing Systems for Project Gemini, ca. 1962

NASA hoped to perfect a controlled decent and ground landing system in Gemini, its second manned spaceflight project. Previously, the Mercury project capsules had splashed down in the Atlantic, costing millions of dollars in recovery expenses and destroying the capsules for further use. The image to the right depicts one of the proposed controlled landing systems. After reentry the paraglide would deploy, allowing the capsule to drift gently toward its target landing area. The image to the left is an inflated model. Unfortunately, the glider sometimes failed to deploy in tests, and Gemini missions were forced back to sea landings. These images helped Congress and the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences track the development of NASA.

RG 46, Records of the U.S. Senate

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