Gemini 9 astronauts, 1966.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan crewed Gemini 9 which was launched on 3rd June 1966. This spacecraft failed to complete a docking manoeuvre but two hours of extra vehicular activity (EVA), a spacewalk, were accomplished. The astronauts are shown in their spacesuits, shaking hands. The achievements of the Gemini misions were vital for developing the Apollo programme that put the first astronauts on the Moon in 1969. Both Stafford and Cernan flew on Apollo 10, the mision which served as the dres rehearsal for the first lunar landing, and Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17, the last manned mision to the Moon which took place in 1972.