Mercury

Mercury and
Gemini-series
[un-manned] satellites

Gemini-1
MercuryGemini-1

This page contains philatelic information on the Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellites. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes on the satellites featured are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

This page includes only those Mercury and Gemini-series missions which resulted in an orbited payload AND which were un-manned missions. Sub-orbital Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] launches are included in the research rockets page.

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)
Mercury and Gemini
[un-manned]
Mercury
[un-manned]
Mercury
[un-manned]
Gemini
[un-manned]
Gemini
[un-manned]


Below is a list of Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellite postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
Mercury [un-manned]
United States1193 fdc (Mi822 fdc)(Multi-color printed) cachet on FDC1962"Project Mercury MA-5 first chimpanzee in orbit"
Gemini [un-manned, but often involved in manned missions]
BeninUnknown ms (Mi?)In (lower-left) margin of MS4 (a-d) [known illegal issue]2017ATDA
Bhutan118C (Mi415)Simulated-3D plastic-overlay1970Atlas-ATDA (Augmented Target Docking Adapter) with the conical protective fairing at the front of the vehicle in the closed (for launch) position
Bhutan118Cm (BL41)On one of MS4 (118-118C) (Mi412-415), simulated-3D plastic-overlay
Bhutan1249 (BL402)On stamp of SS1 (Mi1989)1999GATV (docked with a Gemini capsule)
Bulgaria1635 (Mi1762)1967Gemini-10 capsule docked with GATV-10; also a GATV is depicted in the background
Bulgariai1635 varImperforate 1635 with missing red color
Bulgaria1630-1631+1635 fdcOne of three stamps on FDC
Central African RepublicC39 (Mi121)1966ATDA and Gemini-9A rendezvous
Central African RepublicC39 fdcStamp on FDC (Éditions So.Ge.Im. cachet)
Central African RepublicBL1505On stamp of SS1 (Mi6419)2016GATV docked with Gemini-8 capsule
Central African RepublicUnknown b (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d)2019GATV and Gemini-11 capsule
Central African RepublicUnknown b (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d), or from MS10 (10x unknown)2020GATV
Congo RepublicUnknown a (Mi?)One of MS2 (a-b) [known illegal issue]2019The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him (the stamp design is very similar to this photo)
Congo RepublicUnknown ss (BL?)In (upper-right) margin of SS1 [known illegal issue]2019GATV
Czechoslovakia1455 (Mi1689)1967Gemini capsule rendezvous with GATV (in upper part of stamp and also in inset at lower left)
Germany (Berlin)None(Pictorial) cancel and (gold and red printed) cachet on cover1967GATV-11 docked with Gemini-11; also Astronaut Richard Gordon astride GATV (in the cachet)
Germany (Berlin)None(Pictorial) cancel and (silver and red printed) cachet on coverGATV-11 docked with Gemini-11
Germany (West)None(Pictorial) cancel on cover1966Gemini-12 docking with GATV-12
Guinea-BissauMi8743-8746_ms4MS4 (Mi8743-8746)2016Gemini-8 rendezvous with GATV
Guinea-BissauBL1513On stamp of SS1 (Mi8747)
Hungary1806 (Mi2302)
i1806

Imperforate
1966Gemini-9A (by the dates and names of the crew) rendezvous with GATV; however, the depiction is incorrect since the ATDA, not the GATV, was the rendezvous target of the Gemini-9A mission1)
Hungary1810 (Mi2306)
i1810

Imperforate
GATV docked with Gemini-11 capsule (but the year "1965" printed in the stamp is incorrect; it should be "1966")
Madagascar Republic1549 (BL315)On stamp of SS11966Gemini-9 rendezvous with GATV-9 (but this never happened; the GATV-9 launch failed, and the updated mission Gemini-9A did rendezvous with ATDA, though docking was not possible3)
Madagascar Republic1549 fdcSS1 and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC
Maldive IslandsUnknown ms (Mi?)In (left) margin of MS4 (a-d)2019GATV tethered to Gemini-11 (the design comes from this photo)
Maldive IslandsUnknown ss (BL?)In (left) margin of SS1
ManamaMiD973A
MiD973B

Imperforate
1972The Atlas Automated Target Docking Adaptor (ATDA), about 20 m from the Gemini-9A capsule1
ManamaMi1068A
Mi1068B
One of strip of 3 (Mi1067A-1069A)
One of imperforate strip of 3 (Mi1067B-1069B)
1972Gemini-11 (in the foreground) tethered to the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) (the stamp design is taken from this photo)
ManamaMi1067A-1069A_strip3 fdcOne of strip of three stamps on FDC
ManamaBL206A
BL206B
On stamp of SS1 (Mi1068A)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (Mi1068B)
ManamaMi1090A
Mi1090B

Imperforate
1972The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him (the stamp design is taken from this photo)
ManamaBL218A
BL218B
On stamp of SS1 (Mi1090A)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (Mi1090B)
ManamaMi1091A
Mi1091B
One of strip of 3 (Mi1091A-1093A)
One of imperforate strip of 3 (Mi1091B-1093B)
1972Astronaut Richard Gordon (astride the nose of the Gemini-11 capsule) in the process of attaching a 30 m tether from the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) to the capsule's docking bar; the GATV is partially visible behind Gordon (the stamp design is taken from this photo)
MozambiqueUnknown b (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d)2019GATV-11 and "Gemini-11"
MozambiqueUnknown ss (BL?)On stamp of SS1
MozambiqueUnknown ss fdc1SS1 and (multi-color printed) cachet on FDC
MozambiqueUnknown ss fdc2SS1 on FDC
MozambiqueUnknown d (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d)2020GATV-8 and "Gemini-8" (the GATV-8 depiction is taken from this photo, in which the two spacecraft were separated by 13 m)
MozambiqueUnknown d (Mi?)One of MS4 (a-d) (different)GATV-12 docked with Gemini-12; astronaut Buzz Aldrin EVA2
Panama453A (Mi725)
i453A (Mi?)

Imperforate
1964"Gemini" capsule docking with "Agena" (i.e. with the GATV)
Panama453A pair453A pair (2x 453A)
Paraguay806 (Mi1295)
i806 (Mi1303)

Imperforate, different color
1964"'Gemini' program [capsule] docking with 'Agena' [Target Vehicle] in space" (in Spanish text)
Paraguay807 (Mi1296)
i807 (Mi1304)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay808 (Mi1297)
i808 (Mi1305)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay978 (Mi1618)
i978 (Mi1626)

Imperforate, different color
1966"Agena and Gemini-8" (Gemini-8 capsule docked with GATV)
Paraguay978-982 fdcOne of five stamps on FDC
Paraguay985 (Mi1625)
i985 (Mi1633)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay985a (BL89)
i985a (BL90)
On stamp of SS1 (985)
On stamp of imperforate SS1 (i985)
Paraguay979 (Mi1619)
i979 (Mi1627)

Imperforate, different color
1966"Gemini-9 and ATDA" (the ATDA is in the distance at the right) (but that rendezvous actually took place in the Gemini-9A mission1).
Paraguay978-982 fdcOne of five stamps on FDC
Paraguay984 (Mi1624)
i984 (Mi1632)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay981 (Mi1621)
i981 (Mi1629)

Imperforate, different color
1966"Gemini-10 and Agena" (Gemini-10 capsule docked with GATV is at the right; astronaut Michael Collins' EVA to the GATV is at the left)
Paraguay982 (Mi1622)
i982 (Mi1630)

Imperforate, different color
Paraguay978-982 fdcTwo of five stamps on FDC
Senegal719 (Mi913)
i719

Imperforate
1987"Rendezvous of Gemini-8 and the Agena Target Rocket" (i.e. the GATV) (in French text); (but the 20th anniversary, not the 10th as written in the stamps and the SS1 margin)
Senegal720 (BL48)On stamp (Mi914) of SS1
Sierra LeoneUnknown b (Mi?)One of MS2 (a-b)2020The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him (the stamp design is taken from this photo)
Togo564a_2nd fdc (Mi513Bb fdc)(Black and red printed) cachet on FDC1966GATV-9 docked with Gemini-9 (but this planned event never happened; the GATV-9 launch failed and the Gemini-9 mission was scrubbed3)
United States1332b fdc1 (Mi930-931 fdc1)(Freemason?) cachet on FDC1967The first of three EVAs (Extra-Vehicular Activities) by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the Gemini-12 mission; the GATV (Gemini-Agena Target Vehicle) is partially visible behind him (the cachet image is taken from this photo)
United States1332b fdc2 (Mi930-931 fdc2)(Bell Aerosystems) cachet on FDC, also insertGemini capsule tethered to "Agena Target Vehicle [GATV]"
United States1332b fdc3 (Mi930-931 fdc3)(Orbit Covers) cachet on FDC, also detail1 and detail2GATV (detail1); ATDA (detail2)
United States1332b fdc4 (Mi930-931 fdc4)(Orbit Covers) cachet (one part same, one part different) on FDC, also detail1 and detail2 and detail3 and detail4 and detail5GATV (detail1); ATDA (detail2); GATV-9 tethered to Gemini-9 capsule in mission logo (detail3); GATV-10 and Gemini-10 capsule rendezvous in mission logo (detail4); GATV-11 docked with and tethered to Gemini-11 capsule in mission logo (detail5)
United StatesNonePostcard back, also front1967"Gemini-12 ... rendezvous with the Agena Target Vehicle [i.e. with GATV-12]" (in text in postcard front)
United States1435b fdc1 (Mi1046-1047 fdc1)(Sarzin) cachet on FDC1971"Successful launching of Agena #11 [i.e. GATV-11]; (the cachet image is taken from this photo)
United States1435b fdc2 (Mi1046-1047 fdc2)(Sarzin) cachet (different) on FDC"coupled Gemini #11 and Agena #11 [i.e. GATV-11]"; also astronaut Gordon's EVA to GATV-11
United States (FMF Local Post)None(FMF) local post stamp1975Gemini-5 capsule and GATV (but there was no GATV in this mission; rather, the Gemini-5 crew tested procedures to rendezvous with a virtual2 target vehicle at a given point in space)
United States (FMF Local Post)None(FMF) local post stamp1976"Gemini-9" and ATDA (but that rendezvous actually took place in the Gemini-9A mission1)
Yemen Arab Republic263C (Mi948)
i263C (Mi955)
Also MS12 (12x 263C)
Imperforate, also imperforate MS12 (12x i263C), (half of MS12 (6x i236C))
1969"Gemini-8 ... Space Coupling" (with GATV-8, not shown); "Gemini-9 ... Coupling" with a depiction of the rendezvous of the capsule with a GATV (in fact the Gemini-9 mission was scrubbed and no such rendezvous or coupling ever took place1; the astronaut names and mission launch date in the stamp actually refer to Gemini-9A, which did rendezvous with an alternate target known as the ATDA1)
Yemen Arab Republic263D (Mi949)
i263D (Mi956)
Also MS12 (12x 263D)
Imperforate, also imperforate MS12 (12x i263D), (half of MS12 (6x i236D))
1969 at upper left: drawing of ATDA (but the text, erroneously reversed from YAR 263F, should read "Gemini-10 M. Collins, J. Young 18.7.66 Coupling and Space Walk" (however, the Gemini-10 docking was with GATV-10, not with ATDA)
at upper right: drawing of the Gemini-12 rendezvous with GATV-12 (the text, erroneously reversed from YAR 263F, should read "Gemini-12 J. Lovell, E. Aldrin 11.11.06 Coupling and Space Walk" - Gemini-12 did dock with GATV-12)
at lower left: drawing of the Gemini-11 capsule docked with GATV-11 (the text, erroneously reversed from YAR 263F, should read "Gemini-11 P. Conrad, R. Gordon 12.09.66 Coupling and Space Walk" - Gemini-11 did dock with GATV-11)
at lower right: drawing of a Gemini capsule docked with a GATV (the text, erroneously reversed from YAR 263F, should read "Apollo 7 W. Shirra, D. Eisele, W. Cunningham 11.10.68" - however even the correct text does not match the image - the 3-man Apollo capsule, bigger than the 2-man Gemini capsule, did rendezvous with a Saturn-IVB rocket stage (not a GATV) but did not dock with it)
Yemen Arab Republic263F (Mi951)
i263F (Mi958)
Also MS12 (12x 263F)
Imperforate, also imperforate MS12 (12x i263F), (half of MS12 (6x i236F))
1969 at upper left: "Gemini-10 M. Collins, J. Young 18.7.66 Coupling and Space Walk" (in text - "Coupling" refers to the Gemini-10 docking with GATV-10 - however this text actually belongs in YAR 263D - the two stamps' text has been erroneously reversed)
at upper right: "Gemini-12 J. Lovell, E. Aldrin 11.11.06 Coupling and Space Walk" (in text - "Coupling" refers to the Gemini-12 docking with GATV-12 - however this text actually belongs in YAR 263D - the two stamps' text has been erroneously reversed)
at lower left: "Gemini-11 P. Conrad, R. Gordon 12.09.66 Coupling and Space Walk" (in text - "Coupling" refers to the Gemini-11 docking with GATV-11 - however this text actually belongs in YAR 263D - the two stamps' text has been erroneously reversed)
Yemen Arab RepublicC88 (Mi1699)1982GATV docked with Gemini (at upper-right)
Yemen Arab RepublicC88 dsDeluxe sheet (C88)
Yemen Arab RepublicC88 proofChromalin proof
Yemen Mutawakelite KingdomMi876A
Mi876B
From MS6 (Mi876A_ms6)
From imperforate MS6 (Mi876B_ms6)
1969GATV-11

1The original Gemini-9 mission was scrubbed due to a failure on 17 May 1966 of the Atlas booster carrying the GATV that would have been its docking target. An alternate target vehicle, the Automated Target Docking Adaptor (ATDA), was available and was launched on 1 June 1966. Two days later, the updated mission known as Gemini-9A was launched. One of its goals was to rendezvous and dock with the ATDA. Three different types of approaches to rendezvous were successful, but docking was impossible because the ATDA fairing (a protective cover) was stuck on it in a partially open position. Those open "jaws" brought a reptilian analogy to astronaut Thomas Stafford's mind: he said that "It looks like an angry alligator".
2Astronaut Buzz Aldrin performed three EVAs during the Gemini-12 mission. The first and third were stand-up EVAs on 12 and 14 November. The second, on 13 November, was an umbilical EVA, in which he first retrieved GATV-12's 30 meter tether and attached it to the Gemini capsule. He then returned to GATV-12 where, held in position by a waist tether and foot restraints, he carried out various manual tasks: he cut cables and fluid lines, fastened rings and hooks, connected and disconnected electrical and fluid connectors, tightened bolts and stripped velcro. He also tested an Apollo torque wrench with and without tethers. Back at the Gemini-12 capsule, he wiped James Lovell's window, observed some thruster firings, and finally re-entered the capsule and closed the hatch on the world's first successful complex EVA.


Below is a list of Mercury and Gemini-series [un-manned] satellite launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
Mercury [un-manned]
1961-09-13: Mercury-MA-4
United States1961-09-13Port Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverMercury-MA-4 launch
Mercury-MA-4 (events)
United States1962-08-20USS Decatur(Magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MA-4 splashdown/recovery
1961-11-29: Mercury-MA-5
United States1961-11-29Port Canaveral FL(Black and magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
United States1961-11-29Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
United States1961-11-29Patrick AFB, FL(C. Swanson magenta rubber-stamp and black typed) cachet on coverMercury-MA-5 launch
Mercury-MA-5 (anniversaries)
United States2016-11-29Sagamore Beach MA(Coverscape) cachet on cover55th anniv. Mercury-MA-5 launch
1961-11-01: Mercury-MS-1 [failed]
United States1961-11-01Patrick AFB, FL(C. Swanson magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverMercury-MS-1 launch [failed]
Gemini [un-manned or manned/un-manned mix]
1964-04-08: Gemini-Titan-GT-1
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverTitan-2 mission GT-1 to test the structural integrity of the GLV (the Titan rocket, or Gemini Launch Vehicle) and the un-manned Gemini capsule, and also to demonstrate the GLV's ability to place the capsule into a prescribed orbit
United States1964-04-08Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on cover
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft) cachet (and signature) on cover
United States1964-04-08Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
1965-01-19: Gemini-Titan-GT-2 [sub-orbital]
United States1965-01-19Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on coverGemini-GT-2 launch
United States1965-01-19Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft) cachet on cover
United States1965-01-19Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson blue rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
United States1965-01-19USS Holder(Green rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
United States1965-01-19USS Forrest Royal(Black printed) cachet on cover
United States1965-01-19USS O'Hare(Black printed) cachet on (airmail) cover
United States1965-01-19Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet on cover
United States1965-01-19Cape Canaveral FL(Boerger?) cachet on cover
1965-08-21/29: Gemini-5 (with references to GATV)
United States1965-08-21Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet on coverGemini-5 launch; "maneuvers with [a virtual2] Agena target" (GATV)
1965-10-25: GATV-6 [failed]
United States1965-10-25Cape Canaveral FL(Sokolsky black) cachet on coverGATV-6 launch [failed]; the Gemini-6 mission, which had been planned to dock with GATV-6, was postponed, and became Gemini-6A, a rendezvous mission with Gemini-76
United States1965-10-25Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial-like) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25Kennedy Space Center FL(KSC/NASA red rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25Kennedy Space Center FL(KSC/NASA red rubber-stamp and Harry Gordon? and black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
United States1965-10-25USS Borie(HJM black and US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Massey(Beck) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Stickell(Beck) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Borie(Beck and black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Noa(US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Aucilla(US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25USS Massey(US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-10-25?USNS Kingsport?(Black printed and black rubber-stamp) cachet (and signature) on (airmail) cover
United States1965-10-26USS Basilone(US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverThe Gemini-6 mission, which had been planned to dock with GATV-6, was postponed because of the launch failure of GATV-6, and became Gemini-6A, a rendezvous mission with Gemini-76
1965-12-04/17: Gemini-7 (with references to GATV)
Antigua1965-12-07St. John's(Round black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGemini-7 event: Gemini-76 posigrade maneuver1; (on 25 Oct 1965, the "Agena rocket" [i.e. GATV-6] failed to orbit", so Gemini-6, which was to dock with GATV-6, was postponed, and became Gemini-6A, a rendezvous mission with Gemini-76)
United States1965-12-15Cape Canaveral FL(?) cachet on coverGemini-76 rendezvous with Gemini-6A6. The cover shows a GATV being released into orbit from its Atlas-Agena booster, but that did not take place for either mission. The GATV-6 launch on 25 October 1965 failed, so Gemini-6, which was to dock with GATV-6, was postponed, and became Gemini-6A
1965-12-15/16: Gemini-6A (with references to GATV)
United States1965-12-15Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverGemini-6A launch; Depictions of Gemini-6A rendezvous and docking with GATV (but no such events ever took place6)
United States1965-12-15Cape Canaveral FL(?) cachet on coverGemini-6A launch; Gemini-6A6 rendezvous with Gemini-76. The cover shows a GATV being released into orbit from its Atlas-Agena booster, but that did not take place for either mission. The GATV-6 launch on 25 October 1965 failed, so Gemini-6, which was to dock with GATV-6, was postponed, and became Gemini-6A)
United States1965-12-15Port Washington NY(Sarzin) cachet on folder inside, also outsideGemini-6A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV) .
United States1965-12-15
1966-06-03
Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)
Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)
(Rank velvet) cachet on coverGemini-6A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV)
Gemini-9A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV)
United States1965-12-16USS Cochrane(HJM black and US Navy magenta rubber-stamp (on back)) cachet on cover, also backGemini-6A splashdown/recovery: A rendezvous between Gemini-6 and GATV-6 is depicted, but that never took place6
United States1965-12-16USS Renshaw(HJM black and US Navy magenta rubber-stamp (on back)) cachet on cover, also back
United States1965-12-16USS Ponchatoula(HJM black and US Navy magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
United States1965-12-16USS George K. Mackenzie(HJM black and US Navy magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on cover
1966-03-16/17: GATV-8 (and Gemini-88)
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; later docking in orbit
United States1966-03-16USS Goodrich(NASA/Navy green rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; and "rendezvous mission" with later docking in orbit
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Sarzin) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; later docking in orbit
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Sarzin) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; later docking in orbit
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; Gemini-8 and GATV-8 "docking maneuver"
United States1966-03-16Eglin AFB, FL(Manned Space Flight Network) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; "Gemini-8 rendezvous mission ... with the target Agena spacecraft [i.e. GATV-8] for docking"
United States1966-03-16Kennedy Space Center FL(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; the docked spacecraft and an astronaut doing a spacewalk, and such an EVA was planned, but did not take place because of a mission emergency8 (in cachet)
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(Artopages) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; "1st docking with an Agena target vehicle [GATV]8"
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(Artopages and sticker) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; "1st rendezvous and docking in space [with a GATV]8"
United States1966-03-16Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; "Gemini-8 ... rendezvous in space ... and docking ... with Agena spacecraft [GATV]8"
United States1966-03-16Corpus Christi TX(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet (different text) on coverGATV-8 (and Gemini-8) separate launches; "Gemini-8 ... rendezvous mission ... [and] docking with Agena spacecraft [GATV]8"
United States1966-03-17USS Caloosahatchee(NASA/Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGemini-8 splashdown/recovery; "Gemini [-8] Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-8)
United States1966-03-17USS Caloosahatchee(NASA/Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
United States1966-03-17Cape Canaveral FL(Black printed) cachet on coverGemini-8 splashdown/recovery; "1st Agena [GATV] rendezvous and docking8"
1966-05-17: GATV-9 [failed]
United States1966-05-17Cape Canaveral FL(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-9 launch [failed]; the planned docking of Gemini-9 with GATV-9, but that did not take place3 (in cachet)
1966-06-01: Atlas-ATDA3
United States1966-06-01Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverATDA launch; "Wild alligator target launch"
United States1966-06-01Cape Canaveral FL(Blue and black printed) cachet on coverATDA launch; "Augmented Target Docking Adapter"
United States1966-06-01Patrick AFB, FL(Swanson/DuBeau? purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverATDA launch; "Atlas-Agena"
United States1966-06-01Patrick AFB, FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverATDA launch; "ATDA Augmented Target Docking Adaptor" (with the conical protective fairing at the front of the vehicle in the closed (for launch) position)
United States1966-06-01Cape Canaveral FL(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverATDA launch; the planned docking of Gemini-9 with GATV-9 on 17 May 1966, but that did not take place3 (in cachet)
1966-06-03/06: Gemini-9A (with references to ATDA and/or GATV)
United States1966-06-03Cape Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverGemini-9A launch; "Gemini #9[A] meets in space [but cannot dock] on June 3rd with the (ATDA) Augmented Target Docking Adapter3"
United States1966-06-03Houston TX(Photo and black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGemini-9A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV)
United States1966-06-03Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on coverGemini-9A launch; "Rendezvous mission with ATDA3"
United States1966-06-03Cape Canaveral FL(Harry Gordon) cachet on (airmail) coverGemini-9A launch; "for 3 days of rendezvous, docking and space walk experiments" (the rendezvous with ATDA3 was successful but the docking was impossible3)
United States1966-06-03
1965-12-15
Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)
Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)
(Rank velvet) cachet on coverGemini-9A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV)
Gemini-6A launch (but no reference to ATDA or GATV)
United States1966-06-06USS Wasp(Brown printed) cachet on coverGemini-9A splashdown/recovery; GATV in the cachet (but the mission was to dock with ATDA3 - the rendezvous was successful but docking was impossible3)
United States1966-06-06USS Wasp(Brown printed) cachet (different, and signatures) on cover
1966-07-18: GATV-10 (and Gemini-10)
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Orbit Covers) cachet on cover, also detailGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; Gemini-10 docking with GATV-10
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Orbit Covers) cachet on cover, also detail
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; "Rendezvous with Agena Target" (refers to the Gemini-10 docking with GATV-10 and its subsequent rendezvous with GATV-8) and "Space walk between 2 spacecraft" (refers to astronaut Michael Collins' spacewalk between the Gemini capsule and GATV-8)
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet (different) on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; "Rendezvous with Agena" (refers to the Gemini-10 docking with GATV-10 and its subsequent rendezvous with GATV-8) and "Space walk between 2 spacecraft" (refers to astronaut Michael Collins' spacewalk between the Gemini capsule and GATV-8)
United States1966-07-18WSMR, NM(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet (different) on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; Gemini-10 "rendezvous and docking" with "Atlas-Agena 10" (i.e. GATV-10)
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet (different) on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; "Gemini-10 .. rendezvous with Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]"; during a space walk, astronaut "Collins retrieved a micrometeorite detection cassette from the side of the Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]"
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet (different) on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; "Gemini-10 .. rendezvous with Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]"; during a space walk, astronaut "Collins retrieved a micrometeorite detection cassette from the side of the Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]"
United States1966-07-18Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers) cachet (different) on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; Gemini-10 "rendezvous and docking with Agena-10 [i.e. GATV-10]"; "astronaut Collins spacewalk between [the] two spacecraft [and] rendezvous with Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]" (to retrieve a micrometeorite detection cassette)
United States1966-07-18Patrick AFB, FL(Jim Fitzpatrick black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-104) separate launches; "Atlas-Agena" (i.e. GATV-10)
United States1966-07-19Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on cover, also detailGATV-10 (and Gemini-10) event: Gemini-10 docked with GATV-10
Israel1966-07-19Haifa(Israel Space Stamp Collectors Society) cachet on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-10) event: Gemini-10 mission4; the "docking of two vehicles in space - Gemini-10 with Agena [i.e GATV-10]" took place on 18 July and the two remained docked all of 19 July and finally undocked on 20 July; the second mission milestone was a rendezvous with GATV-8 later on 20 July; astronaut "M. Collins approaching Agena, launched by Atlas on 16.3.66" refers to his EVA to GATV-8
United States1966-07-20Port Washington NY(Sarzin) cachet on coverGATV-10 and (Gemini-10) event: Gemini-104 undocking from GATV-10, "Meeting of Gemini-10 and Agena-8 [i.e. GATV-8]4" and astronaut Michael Collins' EVA to GATV-8 (all on 20 July)4; (the text "rendezvous with Gemini-8 which went up last March" is misleading, and should refer to GATV-8 rather than Gemini-8)
United States1966-07-20Kwajalein HI(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-10 (and Gemini-10) event: Gemini-104 undocking from GATV-10, rendezvous with GATV-8 and astronaut Michael Collins' EVA to GATV-8 (all on 20 July)4; (the "rendezvous and docking" with "Atlas-Agena 10" (i.e. GATV-10) took place earlier in the mission, on 18 July)
1966-09-12/15: GATV-11 (and Gemini-117)
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Green and black printed and purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Launch of the GTA-11 Target Vehicle [i.e. GATV-11]"
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 and GATV-11 rendezvous and docking
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Successful launching of Agena #11 [i.e. GATV-11]" and "link-up in space [of GATV-11] with Conrad and Gordon's Gemini #11"
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet (different) on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Gemini #11 ... link up with Agena #11 [i.e. GATV-11]"
United States1966-09-12USS Forrest Royal(US Navy magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Gemini-11 "Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-11)
United States1966-09-12USS Forrest Royal(US Navy black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Gemini-11 "Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-11)
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(NASA magenta and purple rubber-stamp and sticker) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 and "1st Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous" 94 minutes after launch7
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 and "1st Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous" 94 minutes after launch7
United States1966-09-12La Plata MD(NASA blue and black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 and "1st Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous" 94 minutes after launch7
United States1966-09-12Jupiter FL(NASA red-brown rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 and "1st Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous" 94 minutes after launch7
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 "mission with Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous [and docking]; astronaut Gordon's space walk [to GATV-11]; and the 850 mile high record flight [1370 km high] in [the] Van Allen [radiation] belt"
United States1966-09-12WSMR, NM(Astro Covers?, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Rendezvous and docking [with GATV-11] on first Gemini-11 orbit"
United States1966-09-12Cape Canaveral FL(Black printed) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 docked with GATV-11; astronaut Gordon astride GATV-11
United States1966-09-12Eglin AFB, FL(Manned Space Flight Network) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; Gemini-11 "Astronauts Ch. Conrad and R.F. Gordon set an altitude record of 850 miles [1370 km] in the lower Van Allen radiation belts with the docked Agena [i.e. GATV-11]"
United States1966-09-12Corpus Christi TX(Texas Manned Space Flight Tracking Station) cachet on coverGATV-11 (and Gemini-11) separate launches; "Gemini-11 ... Astronaut Richard F. Gordon's space walk [to GATV-11]"
United States1966-09-13Port Washington NY(NASA red-brown rubber-stamp) cachet on cover"coupled Gemini #11 and Agena #11 [i.e. GATV-11]"; also astronaut Richard Gordon's EVA to GATV-117
United States1966-09-15USS Kawishiwi(US Navy purple rubber-stamp) cachet on cover, also detailGemini-11 splashdown/recovery; Gemini-11 "Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-11); also Gemini-11 "rendezvous in Space with Agena [i.e. with GATV-11]" (in black rubber-stamp cachet)
United States1966-09-15Cape Canaveral FL(NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet (and signatures) on coverGemini-11 splashdownrecovery; Gemini-11 and "1st Agena [i.e. GATV-11] rendezvous" 94 minutes after launch7
United States1966-09-15USS Mansfield(Beck/B682) cachet on coverGemini-11 splashdown/recovery; Gemini-11 "Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-11)
1966-11-11/15: GATV-12 (and Gemini-12)
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches; "Rendezvous [and docking, with GATV-12] and space walk5 mission"
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet (different) on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches; "Rendezvous and docking with Agena" (i.e. with GATV-12); the tethered GATV-12 is seen in the cachet, which is based on this photo
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Orbit Covers blue-green) cachet on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches; Gemini capsule docked with the GATV; also tethered to the GATV; also some images from the Gemini-11 mission: astronaut Richard Gordon astride the nose of the Gemini-11 capsule and attaching the GATV-11 tether to it (design based on this Gemini-11 mission photograph; in these images, the GATV is partially visible just beyond Gordon's body; see also Manama Mi1091A)
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Orbit Covers blue) cachet on cover
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Orbit Covers blue-green) cachet (and signatures) on cover
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Orbit Covers green) cachet (and signature) on cover
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers green) cachet on cover
United States1966-11-11Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet (different) on cover, also detail1, also detail2GATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches; GATV (detail1); ATDA (detail2)
United States1966-11-11Kennedy Space Center FL (hand cancel)(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches
United States1966-11-11Kennedy Space Center FL (machine cancel)(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches
United States1966-11-11Kennedy Space Center FL (machine cancel)(KSC/NASA blue rubber-stamp) cachet (slightly different, and signatures) on coverGATV-12 (and Gemini-12) separate launches
United States1966-11-15USS Wasp(NASA/Navy magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverGemini-12 splashdown/recovery; "Gemini [-12] Rendezvous Mission" (with GATV-12)
United States1966-11-15USS Ozbourn(NASA/Navy magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) cover
Atlas-ATDA3 (anniversaries)
United States1976-06-03Houston TXLocal post stamp and (cyan and black rubber-stamp) cachet on Gemini-9A anniversary cover10th anniv. "Gemini-9A rendezvous in space with ATDA"
GATV (anniversaries)
United States1971-03-16Houston TX(NASA Local Post/SCCS) cachet on Gemini-8 anniversary cover5th anniv. Gemini-8 (and GATV-8) launch
United States1971-03-16Houston TX(NASA Local Post/SCCS) cachet (different) on Gemini-8 anniversary cover5th anniv. Gemini-8 (and GATV-8) launch
United States1971-07-21Houston TX(NASA Local Post/SCCS) cachet on Gemini-10 anniversary cover5th anniv. Gemini-10 landing (with GATV depicted in the cachet; this mission visited two GATVs4)
United States1971-09-12Houston TX(NASA Local Post/SCCS) cachet on Gemini-11 anniversary cover5th anniv. Gemini-11 (and GATV-11) launch
United States1975-08-21Cape Canaveral FLLocal post stamp and (cyan and black rubber-stamp) cachet on Gemini-5 anniversary cover10th anniv. Gemini-5 launch (A GATV is depicted in the local post stamp that forms part of the cachet, but the docking maneuvers in this mission were virtual2; no GATV was in orbit during the Gemini-5 mission)
United States2016-03-17Sagamore Beach MA(Coverscape) cachet on Gemini-8 anniversary cover40th anniv. "rendezvous and docking - Gemini-VIII" and "Aegina target vehicle" (GATV-8)

1A posigrade maneuver is the use of an auxiliary rocket motor to impart additional thrust to a spacecraft in its direction of motion. On 7 Dec 1965, Gemini-76 performed a posigrade maneuver using the aft-firing thrusters for 16.5 seconds. The result was an increase in speed of 12.6 ft/sec.This was done to adjust the orbital altitude of the Gemini-76 capsule in preparation for its planned rendezvous with Gemini-6A6, which finally took place on 15 Dec 1965.
2One of the goals of the Gemini-5 mission was to test techniques to rendezvous with a given point in space. This was done on the third day of the flight. Four different rendezvous maneuvers were successfully tested, using the Orbit, Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS). Such precision maneuvers had never before been attempted in an American spaceflight. Subsequent Gemini missions would rendezvous in space with real objects such as the Agena Target Vehicles.
3The original Gemini 9 mission was scrubbed due to a failure on 17 May 1966 of the Atlas booster carrying the GATV that would have been its docking target. An alternate target vehicle, the Automated Target Docking Adaptor (ATDA), was available and was launched on 1 June 1966. Two days later, the updated mission known as Gemini-9A was launched. One of its goals was to rendezvous and dock with the ATDA. Three different types of approaches to rendezvous were successful, but docking was impossible because the ATDA fairing (a protective cover) was stuck on it in a partially open position. Those open "jaws" brought a reptilian analogy to astronaut Thomas Stafford's mind: he said that "It looks like an angry alligator".
4Gemini-10 docked with GATV-10 at 11:13 p.m. EST on 18 July and remained docked with it for 39 hours, using the GATV propulsion system for maneuvers. At 4:44 p.m. EST on 19 July the Gemini capsule was evacuated and the hatch was opened. Collins stood up in his seat 3 minutes later and began photographing stellar UV radiation. Partway into the standup EVA Young and Collins began to experience severe eye irritation from an unidentified source and Young ordered termination of the EVA. Collins sat down and the hatch was closed at 5:33 p.m. Gemini-10 separated from GATV-10 at 2:00 p.m. EST on 20 July and then rendezvoused with GATV-8. At 6:01 p.m. EST the Gemini capsule cabin was evacuated and the hatch opened for Collins to begin his second EVA. He left the spacecraft 6 minutes later, attached to an umbilical cord, and travelled to GATV-8. Despite difficulties due to lack of handholds on the target vehicle, Collins removed the fairing and retrieved the micrometeoroid detection equipment. During the EVA he lost his camera. He also retrieved the micrometeorite experiment mounted on the Gemini-10 spacecraft, but this apparently floated out of the hatch and was lost when Collins reentered the capsule. The EVA was limited to 25 minutes of outside activity due to lack of fuel. Collins re-entered the capsule at 6:32 p.m. and the hatch was closed at 6:40 p.m. EST on 20 July.
5Astronaut Buzz Aldrin performed three EVAs during the Gemini-12 mission. The first and third were stand-up EVAs on 12 and 14 November. The second, on 13 November, was an umbilical EVA, in which he first retrieved GATV-12's 30 meter tether and attached it to the Gemini capsule. He then returned to GATV-12 where, held in position by a waist tether and foot restraints, he carried out various manual tasks: he cut cables and fluid lines, fastened rings and hooks, connected and disconnected electrical and fluid connectors, tightened bolts and stripped velcro. He also tested an Apollo torque wrench with and without tethers. Back at the Gemini-12 capsule, he wiped James Lovell's window, observed some thruster firings, and finally re-entered the capsule and closed the hatch on the world's first successful complex EVA.
6On 26 Oct 1965, the Gemini-6 mission was postponed after the GATV-6 target vehicle failed to orbit. The updated mission, known as Gemini-6A, was launched on 15 December. Its mission was to rendezvous with Gemini-7, a long-duration mission that had been launched on 4 December. The two spacecraft conducted various orbital maneuvers to bring them closer to each other. Their orbital rendezvous was technically achieved and stationkeeping began at 2:33 pm EST on 15 December with the two Gemini spacecraft in zero relative motion at a distance of 110 meters. Stationkeeping maneuvers involving the spacecraft circling each other and approaching and backing off continued for 5 hours 19 minutes over three and a half orbits. During the maneuvers, all four astronauts on both spacecraft took turns in the formation flying activities and photographs were taken from both spacecraft. This marked the first time two spacecraft were maneuvered with respect to each other by their crews. At the end of stationkeeping Gemini-6A fired its thrusters to move to a position roughly 50 km away from Gemini 7 for drifting flight during the sleep period. Gemini-6A returned to Earth on 16 December. Gemini-7 splashed down on 18 December. No GATV was involved in either the Gemini-6A or the Gemini-7 missions.
7On 12 September 1966, Gemini-11 made a direct-ascent rendezvous and docking with GATV-11 approximately 94 minutes after lift-off. This was in anticipation of what would be done in the Apollo program, in which the LEM would blast off from the Moon and ascend directly to the CSM. The first of astronaut Richard Gordon's two spacewalks in this mission took place on 13 September. It involved fastening a 30 m tether, stored in GATV-11's docking collar, to the Gemini's docking bar. He succeeded, but as with previous Gemini EVAs, trying to work for an extended period in space proved much more tiring than in training simulations. Worse yet, sweat accumulated and blocked the vision from Gordon's right eye, so the EVA was terminated after 33 minutes. The next task was to raise the orbit of the two spacecraft while they remained docked. The crew fired GATV-11's primary propulsion system (PPS) engine for 26 seconds, boosting the orbit to an altitude of 1370 km, the highest Earth orbit ever reached by a crewed spacecraft. The previous record, 760 km, had been established by Gemini-10 in July 1966. Gemini-11's record stands as of June 2020 (men did achieve greater distances from Earth during the Apollo Moon missions, but they were non-orbital flights). After a little more than two circuits of Earth in the high orbit, the crew again fired the PPS engine to enter a near-circular orbit at 300 km altitude. On 14 September, Gordon did his second EVA, in which he stood in the open hatch and took photographs. The final mission objective was to carry out an artificial gravity experiment. The still-tethered capsule was undocked from GATV-11 and by maneuvers including firing the capsule's side thrusters, the crew kept the tether taut and created a slow rotation of the combined spacecraft to generate a small centrifugal force analogous to a small gravitational force. The tether was released following two orbits in that configuration. Gemini-11 returned to Earth on 15 September 1966.
8Gemini-8 successfully docked with GATV-8, but 27 minutes later the combined spacecraft went into a violent yaw and tumble. Command pilot Neil Armstrong used the capsule's Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) thrusters to stop the tumble, but it started again. Armstrong noticed that the OAMS fuel had dropped to 30%, indicating that the problem could be with the Gemini capsule itself. The crew managed to stabilize things enough to undock, but without the added mass of GATV-8, the capsule started tumbling more drastically. Armstrong decided to shut down the OAMS and use all 16 of the Reentry Control System (RCS) thrusters, located on the Gemini's nose, to damp out the tumble. That did the trick, but used almost 75% of the reentry maneuvering fuel. The crew then tested each OAMS thruster and found that number 8 had stuck "on" and had been firing continuously. Mission rules dictated that the flight be aborted once the RCS was fired for any reason. Gemini-8 therefore made an emergency re-entry and landing. Gemini-10 would later re-visit GATV-8. No conclusive reason for the thruster malfunction was ever found. The most probable cause was determined to be an electrical short, most likely due to a static electricity discharge. Power still flowed to the thruster, even when it was switched off. To prevent this problem, spacecraft designs were changed so that each thruster would have an isolated circuit. The emergency was dramatized in the 2018 film First Man, which tells the story of Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to the Apollo-11 Moon landing in 1969.


Back to Scientific/research satellites.
Back to Un-Manned Satellite Philately.



Copyright © 2020-2021, Colorado State University. All rights reserved.
This Website created and maintained by Don Hillger and Garry Toth.
Updated: 2021-05-04