Gemini 4, 50th Anniversary of Space Walk

June 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Revell Gemini

Edward White held only a maneuvering gun in his hand as he stepped out of his Gemini 4 spacecraft on June 3, 1965 to become the first American to walk in space.

As I remember, the gun quickly ran out of gas reducing his ability to maneuver to twists and turns of his body as he pulled on the 8 meter tether that connected him to Gemini 4.  Although we like to think NASA had every contingency planned in advance, I once heard that his fellow astronaut James McDivitt had concerns about the spacewalk.  Where the two men sat was hardly bigger than a phone booth and McDivitt had to stay strapped in his seat.  He worried that if something happened, he’d have no way to bring an unconscious White back into the spacecraft and would have to leave him in space.

White was able to get back into Gemini 4 and both men successfully returned to Earth.  Sadly, however, Ed White passed away in the Apollo fire of January 27, 1967, barely two years after his historic walk in space.

The picture shown above is from the top of the model kit that Revell sold in the sixties.  The model first sold was taken from early designs of the Gemini spacecraft and so was not the actual, final Gemini design.  The picture shows the fuel cells and other mechanisms in the back third section even though in space that section would actually be covered with gold foil.  The middle section has the retro rockets to slow the craft so it could re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.

I did try to discover the name of the artist who made the picture.  The artist’s name is on the cover top but I can’t make it out.  Otherwise I would give him or her full credit for such a marvelous cover painting.  A cover that’s been hanging on my wall for almost 50 years


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