Gemini 4 pp 113-139 | Cite as

“We’re on our way, buddy!”

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


That simple, but clear message to everyone in the new Mission Control Center in Houston was a defining rally call. Prior to Gemini 4, the U.S. had accumulated almost 65 man-hours in space and the successful completion of the mission would raise this to about 257 man-hours (or about 154 manned spacecraft hours). This mission was where the Americans began the long, slow, but methodical climb to catch and ultimately overtake the Soviets in their quest for space dominance and in the race for the Moon. In the first half of the 1960s, most of the ‘space spectacular’ headlines had been credited to the achievements of the Soviet Union, with the United States running a poor second. But from June 1965, and for the next decade, all this would begin to change. Leading the resurgence were astronauts Jim McDivitt and Ed White, the prime crew for Gemini 4.


  1. 1.
    Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1965, pp. 172 & 197.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Reference 1, p. 196; Houston Post, April 23, 1965.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    On the Shoulders of Titans, A History of Project Gemini, Barton C. Hacker and James M. Grimwood, 1977, NASA SP-4203, p. 246.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Moon Landings, an Eyewitness Account, Reginald Turnill, Cambridge, 2003.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gemini Flies, Unmanned Flights and the First Manned Mission, David J. Shayler, Springer-Praxis, 2018, pp.137–8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    What a real thrill it was to zap-up, Jim McDivitt, Life Magazine, June 18, 1965.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Reference 3, p. 245.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The R.A.E. Table of Earth Satellites, 1957–1989, Desmond G. King-Hele, Doreen M.C. Walker, Alan N. Winterbottom, J. Alan Pilkington, Harry Hiller and Geoffrey E. Parry, Royal Aircraft Establishment, 4th edition 1990, p. 79.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Colin Burgess telephone interview with Jim McDivitt, January 18, 2005.Google Scholar

Referred to extensively in this and the following sections were:

  1. • Composite Air-to-Ground and Onboard Voice Tape Transcript of the GT-4 Mission. NASA Program Gemini Working Paper No. 5035 , NASA MSC, August 31, 1965Google Scholar
  2. • GT-4 PAO Mission Commentary Transcript (undated)Google Scholar
  3. • GT-4 Flight Crew Debriefing Transcript, NASA Program Gemini Working Paper No. 5038, NASA MSC (Undated)Google Scholar
  4. • Gemini Program Mission Report Gemini IV MSC-G-R-65-3 June 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations