Ghosts of Gemini

Forgotten photos show the human face of NASA's early astronaut program

(NASA/JSC/Arizona State University)

Orbital Photography

(NASA/JSC/Arizona State University)

Using Hasselblad cameras with tack-sharp Zeiss optics, the Gemini crews were pioneers of orbital photography. On Gemini 10, future Apollo 11 astronaut Mike Collins opened his hatch to space, stood up, and photographed a color plate extended on a rod to test the accuracy of color photos in space. Back on Earth, Collins told debriefers: “It made little sense to me to try to retrieve that plate. So I just flung it overboard.”

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