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  Mercury - Gemini - Apollo
  Gemini 6: What if the Agena hadn't failed

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Author Topic:   Gemini 6: What if the Agena hadn't failed
jasonelam
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Posts: 472
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 01-18-2014 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was recently reading an article about the Gemini 7/6 mission, and it got me to thinking: if the Agena hadn't exploded during the Oct. 25 attempt, would the launch of Gemini 6 been plagued by an aborted launch attempt like what actually happened on Dec. 12?

If that were the case, what would have happened to the Agena and the mission?

Tom
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Posts: 1319
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01-18-2014 11:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a good chance, if the launch was affected by the same glitch, it would have been delayed 3 days (as it was in December) and fly it's original rendezvous and docking mission with Agena 6.

moorouge
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From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-18-2014 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The launch of '6' would have failed. As the glitch that caused the pad shut down was investigated, a second more serious fault was found - a plug lodged in a fuel line.

What would have happened if '6' had failed on launch is pure conjecture, but might '7' have been tasked with the first rendezvous and docking?

Jim Behling
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Posts: 625
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 01-18-2014 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
The launch of '6' would have failed.
No it wouldn't. It would have followed the same scenario as the real Gemini 6. After the Agena launch, the Titan booster would have done the same shut down and the investigation would have uncovered the same two problems. This would have allowed a successful launch later.

PeterO
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Posts: 221
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 01-18-2014 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
The launch of '6' would have failed.
Not necessarily. Gemini 6 was de-stacked and re-erected after the GATV failure, so it's possible the fuel line was not plugged during the initial launch attempt.

moorouge
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Posts: 1645
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 01-18-2014 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
No it wouldn't. It would have followed the same scenario as the real Gemini 6. After the Agena launch, the Titan booster would have done the same shut down and the investigation would have uncovered the same two problems. This would have allowed a successful launch later.

I was assuming that the plugs worked as specified. If they had, then the plugged fuel line would have affected the launch.

Which raises another question. If the Titan had left the pad with the blocked fuel line, would the crew have had to use the ejector seats and would they have survived to fly again?

On edit - following the failure to launch in October, both spacecraft and launch vehicle were placed under guard in bonded storeage. It was assumed that validity of check-outs made in October remained valid when it came to making both ready for the December launch and the compressed preparation needed. Thus, it is highly likely that the plug in the fuel line was present in October.

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