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Gemini 11



With direct application to Apollo the mission of Gemini 11 right from lift off was to simulate, over one orbit of the Earth, a Lunar Module take off from the moon’s surface and subsequent docking with the Command Module in lunar orbit. To achieve this required meticulous timing and dose of good luck. With Agena 11 launched from Pad 14, exactly on time and safely entered orbit on 12 September, Gemini 11 had the shortest launch window in the programme, just two-seconds to depart Pad 19 as Agena flew overhead  97 minutes later ending its first orbit, and it did just that with 1.5 seconds to spare!
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