Despite the emergency landing of the Gemini-8 Capsule, the recovery of astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott worked out smoothly--there were no serious problems.
Destroyer off to pick up spacemen; capsule spotted; astronauts walk up to the destroyer; capsule lifted aboard destroyer; destroyer with astronauts and capsule speeds for Okinawa.
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Background: Despite the emergency landing of the Gemini-8 Capsule, the recovery of astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott worked out smoothly--there were no serious problems. The astronauts and their capsule were pulled out of the pacific ocean March 16 about 500 miles east of Okinawa (the scheduled landing was to be in the south Atlantic where Gemini-8 came down.
Less than 12 hours after the Gemini-8 was fired into space, it made space history by successfully docking with an Agena target rocket one half hour after the docking, the capsule and the rocket began to pitch and roll. The astronauts quickly backed their capsule away from the rocket. NASA space officials then ordered Gemini-8 to splashdown in the Western Pacific.
Before the Gemini-8 capsule hit the water, spotter airplanes were already over they spot where the landing was to take place. Helicopters followed. Specially trained frogmen jumped into the sea shortly after the spacecraft landed and placed a preserver belt around it. The spacemen and three frogmen waited three hours before they were picled up by the Destroyer Leonard F. Mason. After the astronauts climbed aboard, the capsule was lifted aboard the ship. Then, the Mason steamed for Naha, Okinawa, where the debriefing of Armstrong and Scott began.
Both astronauts were reported in good health and spirits.
From Okinawa, Armstrong and Scott were flown to Hawaii, where they were landed March 18. They rested in Honolulu and underwent de-briefing. Later they were flown to Cape Kennedy where they landed March 19 (see prod 878p.
Space officials do not know what went wrong on the flight that had to be aborted.