Gemini VII Launch Announcement
December 4, 1965 TV Guide

December 4, 1965 TV Guide

December 4, 1965 TV Guide - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

Before the advent of YouTube and other video sharing venue via the Internet, broadcast television was THE medium for visual entertainment other than an occasional jaunt to the movie theater. You either watched shows when they first aired or hope to catch them on reruns. TV Guide was THE go-to publication for all things television. Out of print now, it was for many of us the schedule setter for Saturday morning cartoons and Prime Time comedy shows.

While looking for the edition of TV Guide that published the first airing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," I noticed that the time period coincided with the launching of the Gemini VII spacecraft. In a stroke of good fortune, it indeed included an announcement that regularly scheduled programming would be preempted as necessary to provide live coverage of the launch, to give timely updates, and to coverage the splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.


Gemini VII Launch Announcement from December 4, 1965 TV Guide - Airplanes and RocketsThe 14-day Gemini VII space flight is scheduled for launching from Cape Kennedy's Pad 19 at 2:30 P.M. Astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell will be making man's longest journey into space, which will help determine the medical and psychological effects of prolonged periods of weightlessness. Twenty medical and technological experi-ments will also be conducted.

This will also be the first U.S. "shirt-sleeves" flight. After making certain that the space capsule's pressure hull will not expose them to the vacuum of space, Borman and Lovell will remove their pressure suits and spend about 10 days of the flight in the comfort of their undergarments. The astronauts will suit up again for reentry. (Splashdown is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 18, in the West Atlantic.)

Borman and Lovell will not be alone for all of their 14-day flight. On Dec. 13, NASA plans to launch the Gemini VI space capsule. Astronauts Walter Schirra and Thomas P. Stafford will guide their craft to a rendezvous with Gemini VII, which will go into a 18S-mile circular orbit for the meeting.

There will be no docking maneuvers, and NASA has denied reports that Stafford will take a spacewalk between the two capsules. The Gemini VI flight, originally scheduled for last October, had to be postponed because of a malfunction in the Atlas-Agena rocket, with which Schirra and Stafford were to rendezvous and dock.

Live network coverage will originate from Pad 19, the White House, NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, and other sites. Delays in launching could postpone the liftoff until tomorrow or Monday. If the flight is postponed, the networks will resume regular programming, returning to Cape Kennedy on the rescheduled flight date.

It was after the rendezvous with Gemini 6A that astronauts Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford famously broke out in a surprise round of "Jingle Bells" after giving a faux report of a 'UFO' sighting of a man in a red suit and eight tiny reindeer pulling a sleigh.

Gemini VII NASA Photo - Airplanes and RocketsHere are the basics of the Gemini VII program from the NASA website. Many of the hyperlinks on pages linked to from NASA's main Gemini page turn up empty pages. The Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obammacare) programmers must be maintaining the NASA website now, too :-(


Pad LC-19 () Titan-II (6)


Frank Borman (1), Commander

James A. Lovell (1), Pilot

Backup Crew:

Edward H. White

II Michael Collins


Alan L. Bean (Cape)

Elliot M. See Jr. (Houston)

Eugene A. Cernan (Houston)

Charles A. Bassett II (Houston)

NASA Gemini VII Mission Patch - Airplanes and RocketsMilestones:



Gemini-VII capsule

Mission Objective:

Primary object was to conduct 14-day mission and evaluate effects on crew. Secondary objectives included: Provide target for Gemini VI-A. Stationkeep with Gemini VI-A and with second stage of GLV. Conduct 20 experiments. Evaluate lightweight pressure suit. Evaluate spacecraft reentry capability. Conduct systems tests. Spacecraft weight: 3663kg.


December 4, 1965 2:30:03.702pm EST



327km (177.1 nm)

Inclination: 28.89 degrees

Orbits: 206 Duration: 13 Days, 18 hours, 35 min, 1 seconds




December 18, 1965.

Landed at 25deg 25.1min North, 70.6deg 7min West

Miss distance was 11.8km (6.4nm).

Mission Highlights:

All primary and secondary objectives were achieved.

Click Here more information about Gemini-VII





Posted on  November 30, 2013