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Home > Curator's Corner > March 2014 > The Gemini 3 Recovery: 49 Years Ago This Week
The Gemini 3 Recovery: 49 Years Ago This Week
Intrepid Teens Blog
Posted: 3/25/2014 11:50:43 AM

Forty-nine years ago, Intrepid served as the primary recovery vessel for NASA’s first piloted Gemini mission, Gemini 3. Unlike the previous Mercury capsules, which carried one astronaut, Gemini capsules carried two men. On March 23, 1965, helicopters from Intrepid picked up astronauts John Young and Virgil “Gus” Grissom and their two-person capsule after their three-orbit, five-hour space flight.

Intrepid’s crew was excited to witness this historic mission. Sailors crowded onto the flight deck to greet the two astronauts and lined the ship’s catwalks to watch the capsule recovery. Many sailors captured the moment using their personal cameras. Here are a few photographs, taken by Intrepid crew members, from the Museum’s collections.
Crew member William Faulhaber captured the helicopter carrying Gus Grissom and John Young as it landed on the flight deck.

From the ship’s island, William Faulhaber photographed the astronauts on the flight deck, in blue robes at center.


William Groeneveld also snapped a photo of the astronaut’s arrival, but from a different perspective. While the astronauts are difficult to spot, the photograph illustrates the crowd of crew members.


William Groeneveld took this image of the Gemini capsule on Intrepid’s starboard aircraft elevator.

The Intrepid Museum thanks William Faulhaber and William Groeneveld for donating their slide collections to us.