“We’re about ready to come down”
With the dawn of their fifth day of flight and the start of their fourth 24-hour period in orbit, Jim McDivitt and Ed White were in sight of the end of their record breaking mission. Before they could all celebrate, however, they were faced with the grueling de-orbit, re-entry and landing phase, followed by the recovery. No American astronaut had experienced this before after four days cooped up in their spacecraft. The mission may have been making the headlines but it was not over yet by any means. With the computer on but not working correctly, the planned computer-controlled re-entry could not be accomplished and instead, McDivitt would have to set Gemini 4 into a roll and follow a ballistic re-entry, similar to those flown during Project Mercury.
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