May 7, 1965 - Astronaut James A. McDivitt , command pilot; and Edward H. White II, pilot, are inside a Gemini crew simulator during a training exercise in preparation for the scheduled flight of GT-4 on June 3, 1965. That June, White became the first American to walk in space.
Astronauts Edward H. White II (left) and James A. McDivitt inside the Gemini IV spacecraft wait for liftoff. The objective of the Gemini IV mission was to evaluate and test the effects of four days in space on the crew, equipment and control systems. Pilot Edward White II successfully accomplished the first U.S. spacewalk during the Gemini IV mission.
Ed White Performs the First American EVA 50 Years Ago Today (3 June 1965) — Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot of the Gemini IV four-day Earth-orbital mission, floats in the zero gravity of space outside the Gemini IV spacecraft. White wears a specially designed spacesuit; and the visor of the helmet is gold plated to protect him against the unfiltered rays of the sun. He wears an emergency oxygen pack, also. He is secured to the spacecraft by a 25-feet umbilical line and a 23-feet tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his right hand is a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU) with which he controls his movements in space. Astronaut James A. McDivitt, command pilot of the mission, remained inside the spacecraft. EDITOR’S NOTE: Astronaut White died in the Apollo/Saturn 204 fire at Cape Kennedy on Jan. 27, 1967.
of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module “Spider” in a lunar landing configuration
photographed by Command Module pilot David Scott inside the
Command/Service Module “Gumdrop” on the fifth day of the Apollo 9
earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on “Spider” has been deployed.
lunar surface probes (sensors) extend out from the landing gear foot
pads. Inside the “Spider” were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9
Commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, Lunar Module pilot.
On this day in 1965, astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to perform Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), also known as a spacewalk.
As a part of the Gemini 4 mission, astronauts Edward H. White II and James McDivitt were sent on a four day spaceflight, the first multi-day spaceflight by the United States. The mission’s primary objective was to evaluate the effects of prolonged spaceflight and to demonstrate that humans could remain in space for extended periods of time. It’s secondary objective was to conduct the first Extra Vehicular Activity by an American astronaut and to evaluate the ability of the Hand-Held Maneuvering Unit (HHMU), also known as the zip gun, to control the astronaut’s movement.
Edward White, who was lucky enough to perform the first spacewalk, was so enthralled by the experience that he did not want to return to the spacecraft when commanded to.
The transcript from the Gemini 4 mission plays more like a mother calling to her son playing outside to come in for dinner.
McDIVITT: They want you to get back in now. WHITE (laughing): I’m not coming in… This is fun. McDIVITT: Come on. WHITE: Hate to come back to you but I’m coming McDIVITT: Gosh, you still got three and a half more days to go, buddy GEMINI CONTROL: You’re got about four minutes to Bermuda. WHITE: I’m trying to… McDIVITT: O.K. O.K. Don’t wear yourself out now. Just come in… How you doing there? WHITE: … whenever a piece of dirt or something goes by, it always heads right for that door and goes on out. McDIVITT: O.K., come in then. WHITE: …aren’t you going to hold my hand? McDIVITT: No, come on in the… Ed, come on in here! WHITE: All right. I’ll open the door and come through there… McDIVITT: Come on. Let’s get back in here before it gets dark. WHITE: It’s the saddest moment of my life. McDIVITT: Well, you’re going to find it sadder when we have to come down with this thing.
(7 March 1969) — A view of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module (LM), “Spider”, in a lunar landing configuration, as photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. The landing gear on the “Spider” has been deployed. Lunar surface probes (sensors) extend out from landing gear foot pads. Inside the “Spider” were astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander, and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot. Astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the Command Module (CM), “Gumdrop”, while the other two astronauts checked out the Lunar Module.
(June 3, 1965) Astronauts Edward H. White II (left) and James A. McDivitt inside the Gemini IV spacecraft wait for liftoff. The objective of the Gemini IV mission was to evaluate and test the effects of four days in space on the crew, equipment and control systems. Pilot Edward White II successfully accomplished the first U.S. spacewalk during the Gemini IV mission.
Apollo 9 Performs First Rendezvous & Re-Docking with LM Ascent Stage (7 March 1969) — The Lunar Module (LM) “Spider” ascent stage is photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. While astronaut David R. Scott, command module pilot, remained at the controls in the CSM “Gumdrop,” astronauts James A. McDivitt, Apollo 9 commander; and Russell L. Schweickart, lunar module pilot, checked out the “Spider.” The LM’s descent stage had already been jettisoned.
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin shakes hand with NASA’s Gemini 4 astronauts, Edward H. White II and James A. McDivitt at the Paris International Air Show in June 1965. This first meeting between Gagarin and the Gemini 4 astronauts occurred shortly after the completion of the Gemini 4 mission, where White performed the first American EVA. Yuri Gagarin achieved fame as the first human to fly in space, as well as orbit Earth. Also shown in the picture (seated) are Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and (standing) French Premier Georges Pompidou.
Apollo 9 Day 3 (3-13 March 1969) — Cyclonic storm system, located 1,200 miles north of Hawaii, as photographed from the Apollo 9 spacecraft during its 10-day, Earth-orbital space mission. This picture was made on the 124th revolution of Apollo 9. This cyclonic storm system can also be seen in the ESSA-7 photograph taken on March 11, 1969.