Gemini V

Kuiper hangs out under a covered wagon.

Kuiper gets into the spirit of Gemini 5 at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

This is a throwback pic from July 2017, just a few days after Kuiper’s 1st birthday. 🎂 It’s from before I had a “real” camera, but I learned that you can do a lot with Snapseed (free editing app) and a smartphone. I’ll put the unedited version in story.

Thank you so much to everyone who left kind words on my space lecture video. It’s one thing to give a lecture. It’s another thing entirely to post a video of it on the Internet. 😂 Onward!

Gemini 5 launched on August 21, 1965, and was crewed by Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad. On the mission patch is a covered wagon, much like the one Kuiper is hanging out under. The mission motto was “8 Days or Bust,” a reference to “Oregon or Bust,” which was a slogan used by folks heading west 🤠 on the Oregon Trail.

Our previous mission lasted 4 days, so 8 days was a pretty big leap forward. This was made possible by the transition from using batteries as a sole power source to using both batteries and fuel cells, which were designed by General Electric. On Gemini, fuel cells produced an average of 620 watts of power. That’s about the amount used by my desktop computer 👩‍💻 and monitors 🖥🖥️🖥 I’m using to write this.

Gemini fuel cells were more delicate than the ones used later on Apollo, and Gordon and Pete ran into some problems with them during their mission. With the addition of a few more problems (including an accident with freeze-dried shrimp), they ended up having to spend several days drifting and not doing much of anything in order to conserve fuel.

Keeping in mind that the capsule interior is about the size of the front seat of a car, you can imagine that our brave astronauts started to get pretty bored. Pete Conrad later described the mission as “8 days in a garbage can” and lamented that he had not packed a book. 📕😂

What book would you have brought?

Also: Native Oregonians pronounce our state’s name differently from the way many do. Many pronounce it “or-eh-GONE,” with the emphasis on the last syllable. Here in Oregon, we pronounce it “OR-uh-gun,” with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwFxH_Uj6FH/

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