Gemini 4 pp 267-293 | Cite as

“We’re about ready to come down”

  • David J. Shayler
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


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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    Splashdown, NASA, the Navy & Space Flight Recovery, Don Blair, Turner Publishing Company, 2010, pp. 38–39 and 162–4.Google Scholar
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    James A. McDivitt, NASA Oral History Project, June 29, 1999, pp. 12-41 to 12-42.Google Scholar
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    Information courtesy of Dr. Ross J. Smith, Last accessed June 9, 2018.Google Scholar
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    A recollection of Gemini from Forty Feet and Twenty Knots, William R. Carpenter, M.D. and John B. Charles, PhD. NASA History News & Notes, Volume 32, Number 4, Fourth Quarter, 2015.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Shayler
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronautical HistorianAstro Info Service Ltd.HalesowenUK

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