Author Topic: Why was the crew of Gemini IV an all-rookie crew?  (Read 749 times)

Offline Tobias_Corbett

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I hope this isn't a dumb question and I hope it hasn't been asked before, but I wanted to ask if anyone knows why Gemini IV was an all-rookie crew. I do understand why there were all-rookie crews who flew on Gemini but why was Gemini IV selected as one. I don't mean any disrespect to Jim McDivitt, and I think that he was a great astronaut,  although I would've thought that NASA would have selected on of the Mercury Seven who was able to fly at the time (Grissom, Cooper and Schirra) to command the first ever American spacewalk, and then selected McDivitt to command a less prestigious mission. Again i'm sorry if this is a dumb question.
« Last Edit: 04/26/2018 03:36 AM by Tobias_Corbett »

Offline Jim

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Re: Why was the crew of Gemini IV an all-rookie crew?
« Reply #1 on: 04/26/2018 01:43 PM »
I hope this isn't a dumb question and I hope it hasn't been asked before, but I wanted to ask if anyone knows why Gemini IV was an all-rookie crew. I do understand why there were all-rookie crews who flew on Gemini but why was Gemini IV selected as one. I don't mean any disrespect to Jim McDivitt, and I think that he was a great astronaut,  although I would've thought that NASA would have selected on of the Mercury Seven who was able to fly at the time (Grissom, Cooper and Schirra) to command the first ever American spacewalk, and then selected McDivitt to command a less prestigious mission. Again i'm sorry if this is a dumb question.

Because there wasn't enough veterans. Gemini 7 was all rookie too.

Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: Why was the crew of Gemini IV an all-rookie crew?
« Reply #2 on: 04/26/2018 03:33 PM »
I hope this isn't a dumb question and I hope it hasn't been asked before, but I wanted to ask if anyone knows why Gemini IV was an all-rookie crew. I do understand why there were all-rookie crews who flew on Gemini but why was Gemini IV selected as one. I don't mean any disrespect to Jim McDivitt, and I think that he was a great astronaut,  although I would've thought that NASA would have selected on of the Mercury Seven who was able to fly at the time (Grissom, Cooper and Schirra) to command the first ever American spacewalk, and then selected McDivitt to command a less prestigious mission. Again i'm sorry if this is a dumb question.

Because there wasn't enough veterans. Gemini 7 was all rookie too.

So was Gemini VIII: Armstrong-Scott.

In the fall of 1963 Slayton asked his fellow Mercury astronauts which Gemini mission they wanted, with the usual "no promises but will do what I can" proviso. Shepard wanted the first flight, of course, Schirra wanted first rendezvous/docking, Grissom and Cooper surely asked for those but were pointed at what were then 7 day and 14 day flights.

(Carpenter was already thinking about a temporary return to the Navy, so not part of the discussion.)

Slayton's other goal was to get McDivitt and Borman into early Gemini commands and flights, then move them to Apollo for CSM and LM development.

So... Shepard gets Gemini III with Grissom as backup.... Shepard is grounded, Grissom takes the first flight. Cooper gets the first real long-duration mission, Gemini V, with Schirra the first (planned) rendezvous-docking.

As Jim notes, there are no more veterans and why not use promising members of the 1962 group -- McDivitt gets command of Gemini IV, with Borman as his backup (after Borman gets bumped from Gemini III backup.....), Armstrong is backup commander for Gemini V, etc.

Michael Cassutt

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Why was the crew of Gemini IV an all-rookie crew?
« Reply #3 on: 04/26/2018 04:31 PM »
Gemini IX was planned to be an all-rooky crew as well, until the prime crew died.

Also remember that Gemini IV wasn't going to be a full spacewalk mission.   It was originally planned as a "stand-up EVA" but then it became a full EVA after Leonov's EVA a few days before the Gemini III flight.
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

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