Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open

This is the nose of the Gemini XII spacecraft as photographed by Buzz Aldrin. He was standing up on his seat with his hatch open while orbiting at 8,000 meters per second 188 miles over the Earth. I wish I were able to imagine the sensation of what this felt like.

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This is how it looked from the outside.

Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open

That is Buzz Aldrin standing up on Gemini XII, with the Agena rendezvous vehicle on the background. Agena was used as a target spaceship to test the orbital rendezvous technique that was needed to go to the Moon in the Apollo missions—a technique that Aldrin himself developed in his "Manned Orbital Rendezvous" thesis, which earned him a Doctorate of Science in Astronautics by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This publicity photo gives a better idea of the proportions and posture.

Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open
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Aldrin established a Extra-Vehicular Activity record at the time, demonstrating for the first time that humans could do actual work floating in space without risking their lives.

Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open
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Aldrin during EVA.

Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open
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The view of Agena from Gemini XII.

Illustration for article titled Buzz Aldrins amazing view while riding Gemini XII with the hatch open
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Aldrin and Lovell after the splashdown.


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