As mentioned in the previous article, the Gemini Project, NASA’s 2nd manned space program, ended on November 15th, 1966. The 10 manned missions over 2 years proved that humans could do everything needed in space to make a successful flight to the Moon. All that would be left would be to prove out the Apollo hardware and make the voyage, which would happen in 1969.
Project Gemini is often overshadowed by the pioneering spirit of Mercury, and the history making success of Apollo. Gemini, though, was critical to success – it proved what could be done in space, and then some. The vehicle was more capable than Apollo in many ways, and was slated to become more than what it was (See the Manned Orbiting Laboratory test flight), but much like the Apollo Applications Program, this was never truly to be (although we did get Skylab out of AAP, so it wasn’t a total loss.)
As for what Gemini actually was, this film, from 1967, does a fine job telling the story of Gemini: The men, the machines, the experience, the risks, and the rewards from success, even in abort situations, all of which make Gemini, to me, one of the most interesting moments in space history!