The 'Angry Alligator' in Earth orbit, 1966.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
This picture was taken by the Gemini 9 astronauts, Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan while in orbit above the coast of Venezuela in June 1966. It shows the Agena Target Docking Adaptor with which the Gemini 9 spacecraft had intended to dock. The shroud (nose cone) did not separate properly meaning that the docking manoeuvre had to be aborted. The experiences gained on the Gemini misions were vital for developing the Apollo programme that put the first astronauts on the Moon in 1969.