Armstrong Air & Space Museum

This kiosk sits in front of the original Gemini VIII spacecraft. It allows museum visitors to explore the Gemini VIII mission, including the first docking, the life-threatening emergency, and the ins and outs of the spacecraft itself. I had the concept for this project and designed/developed the kiosk.

Here is a little history of Gemini VIII mission…

On March 16, 1966, two spacecraft launched into space. The unmanned Agena and the Gemini VIII spacecraft, with astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott.

This marked the first mission each had in space. The mission involved a rendezvous and historic first docking. Docking had never occured in space before and was necessary to go to the Moon during the future Apollo missions.

About 45 minutes after docking, the astronauts noticed the spacecraft began a slight roll and wobble, which was only increasing. They undocked from the Agena, in case it was the cause, but found themselves rolling faster and faster. It was their own spacecraft, Gemini VIII, that had a problem. They were now rolling a full revolution every second. Their vision was blurring, they were losing their orientation, and were nearly blacking out.

They worked through the life-threatening emergency, problem-solving the way astronauts know how. On top of it all, they were in a communications blackout zone and couldn’t communicate with Earth, so it was all on them. Neil engaged the secondary re-entry control system thrusters, hoping to counter the roll. After a burn of the thrusters, this maneuver successfully slowed down and stopped the roll, taking them out of immediate danger.

They determined a single thruster had stuck in the open position, causing constant thrust and the roll. Armstrong and Scott came home two days early, successfully splashing down in the Pacific on March 17, 1966. They both went on to walk on the Moon.

A huge thanks to the Armstrong Air & Space Museum for giving me the opportunity to tell the story of Gemini VIII. Their valuable support made this project a success. I highly recommend everyone check out the museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio, where Neil Armstrong was born and raised. The wonderful museum team is always eager to talk about Neil Armstrong, Gemini VIII, Apollo 11, and all things space.

Huge thanks to Tony O’Dell who worked with me to create the 3D animations of the mission emergency and Joe Potter for his design feedback and ideas.

The kiosk won a Brandon Hall Award for Educational Excellence – Best Advance in Custom Content.