Gemini 9 spacecraft after splashdown, 1966.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan in Gemini 9 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on the 6th June 1966 after a three day mision in Earth orbit. They are shown here leaving the capsule with the asistance of divers. Within an hour the astronauts and capsule were on the deck of the recovery ship, the Us Wasp. 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.