Chapter 4

Organizing Project Gemini

[75] When Mark II was approved on 7 December 1961, much of the groundwork had already been laid. Aside from the paraglider, however, whose development was not directly tied to the Mark II project, none of the pieces was yet under contract. The Manned Spacecraft Center itself was not going to build spacecraft, booster, target, or paraglider. In line with the practice pioneered by the Air Force after World War II, NASA relied on private firms to develop and produce most of its hardware. The first priority, even before getting the project office fully in order, was putting the spacecraft under contract and making arrangements with the Air Force for booster and target vehicles.

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