March 16th 1966 - Gemini 8


Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966. The mission was piloted by Neil Armstrong and David R. Scott. It was the first spacecraft to physically achieve docking when it docked with an Agena target missile. Twenty minutes after docking, the astronauts reported that the spacecraft were spinning uncontrollably. The docked spacecraft were separated, but the spinning was continuing at an accelerating rate. In desperation, the astronuats turned off the thruster system and activated the reentry system. This allowed the crew to regain control over the capsule, but the expenditure of fuel was so great that an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean was necessary.