Working equipment was mounted on two special pallets (much like the "crewman simulator" used in Project Mercury) located where the crew would be in later flights. Spacecraft 1 carried two active Gemini systems: a C-band radar transponder and related gear to help ground radar keep track of the spacecraft, and three telemetry transmitters to return data to Earth. Data were to be gathered by a set of special instruments that measured pressure, vibration, acceleration, temperature, and structural loads.47
McDonnell began testing Spacecraft 1 on 5 July 1963, with plans to have it at Cape Canaveral by mid-August. The first phase of spacecraft systems tests centered on making sure that each working piece of equipment functioned properly. Many parts did not, bringing testing to a halt on 21 July. The instrumentation pallets had several defects, especially in their electrical circuits and in their response to vibration.  Other problems included a transmitter and a radar beacon that had to be returned to their makers to correct out of specification performance. With these matters taken care of, testing resumed on 5 August and proceeded smoothly to the end of the first phase on 21 August.48
Four days later, McDonnell workmen mated the major spacecraft modules. The now fully assembled vehicle was ready for the second phase of systems tests, checking its overall working and the compatibility between the mated sections. It was now slated to arrive at the Cape on 20 September. During the first half of the month, tests alternated with leftover manufacturing tasks, which slowed things down, but not seriously. All systems performed well during the last half of the month, as the spacecraft was vibrated to simulate a launch, then transferred to the altitude chamber for simulated flight tests under orbital conditions. A complete integrated systems test on 30 September concluded the testing.49
A good share of the program office and a sampling of the rest of NASA were on hand the next day to watch Spacecraft 1 as it rolled out of the test area in the McDonnell plant. Throughout the morning, McDonnell experts lectured their NASA guests on the spacecraft, the status of each of its parts, and the results of testing. After lunch, the NASA party retired behind closed doors to ponder the fate of the spacecraft. The McDonnell staff gathered late in the afternoon to hear the decision. Spacecraft 1 had been accepted for shipment to the Cape.50
When it arrived on 4 October, it entered a new round of testing. GPO had decided early in the program that Gemini preflight checkout would conform to the Mercury pattern, even though the two-man spacecraft had been designed to render that kind of repeated testing unnecessary. Plans called for the spacecraft to be broken down to its major modules, each of which was retested to the subsystem level. After being put back together again and passing a series of integrated tests culminating in a simulated flight, the spacecraft was to be transferred from the industrial area to the launch complex.51
Spacecraft 1, lacking most of Gemini's normal systems, was much easier to check out than later models; by the evening of 12 February 1964, the task was finished. The next step was a formal Preflight Readiness Review of spacecraft status, both physical and functional. Gemini Manager Charles Mathews and a team of engineers from Houston and Cape Kennedy* conducted the review on 18-19 February,  finding nothing that would prevent the spacecraft from being moved to the launch complex nor that seemed likely to delay the launch.52
The launch vehicle was not ready for mating, so Spacecraft 1 waited until 3 March before its transfer to complex 19. While the spacecraft waited, minor work continued, especially on the spacecraft shingles. These beryllium shingles were part of the heat protection structure and covered the external surfaces of the two forward modules - the rendezvous and recovery canister and the reentry control system. A fully acceptable fit was not, in fact, achieved until after the spacecraft had been mated to the launch vehicle.53
Building and testing the first Gemini launch vehicle was not as easy as getting the spacecraft ready, because GLV-1 had the same role as the later boosters in the program. Just as McDonnell had been building spacecraft despite hard-to-resolve problems in some spacecraft systems, the Baltimore division of Martin- Marietta had been building launch vehicles for Gemini, even during the long months when the Air Force and its contractors were struggling to make Titan II reliable.**
Titan II was built around its propellant tanks, one for fuel and one for oxidizer in both the first and second stages. Martin's Denver division, which held the missile contract, provided the tanks for Gemini boosters as well and shipped the set for GLV-1 to Baltimore in October 1962. After a lengthy series of tests, with special attention to welded joints to be sure they were both strong enough and leakproof, the tanks were ready for formal inspection in mid-February 1963.*** Only three passed. The second-stage oxidizer tank was cracked. It was returned to Denver and replaced by the tank intended for GLV-2, which reached Baltimore on 1 March.54
By 21 May, the first Gemini launch vehicle was fully assembled and ready to begin testing as a unit. A check for wiring continuity revealed a short circuit in the second stage where a wire's insulation had been cut through by a defective clamp. When inspectors found several other clamps with the same defect, every one of the more than 1,500  wiring-harness clamps in GLV-1 was removed, all wiring inspected, and a new set of clamps installed.55
When electrical continuity had been confirmed, the first stage was erected in Martin's new Vertical Test Facility on 2 June, the second a week later. This facility was a tower 56 meters high, adjoined to a three-story blockhouse fitted with test and checkout equipment, or AGE****, matching the AGE at complex 19 in Florida that would later ready GLV-1 for launch. The tower and blockhouse inside the Martin plant were designed to provide test data and to be compared with data gathered during checkout at the Cape.56
The first phase of the test program, subsystem functional verification to make sure that each of the vehicle's subsystems was working, began on 16 June. These tests went more slowly than planned. For one thing, the second stage had been late going up, partly because of electrical problems and partly because its engine arrived late. For another, minor troubles cropped up - hydraulic tubing that was not fully cleaned, solder flux that had boiled from a pinhole in a joint and gummed a gyroscope. By the end of June, subsystem testing had fallen about two weeks behind schedule, a source of concern but as yet no threat to the launch planned for December 1963. The functional verification tests lasted until late July, when a review of the data by SSD and the Aerospace Corporation found GLV-1 ready for the next phase of testing.57
GLV-1 began combined systems tests on 31 July with a series of tests designed to uncover any interference between the vehicle's several electrical and electronic systems. Five systems failed to meet standards after the first round of testing. Efforts to correct the problems - mainly by adding filters and grounds to Age and airborne circuits - produced results, though slowly. Only after the sixth test, on 5 September, was all interference cleared up. The launch vehicle's last hurdle was a combined systems acceptance test (CSAT), which included a complete launch countdown, simulated engine start, liftoff, and flight, and ended with the simulated injection of the spacecraft into orbit. After several practice runs in conjunction with the electrical-electronic interference testing, Martin conducted the formal CSAT on 6 September, then presented both the data and the vehicle to the Air Force on 11 September for acceptance.58
For the next week and a half, the Vehicle Acceptance Team, headed by SSD's Colonel Richard Dineen, met at the Martin plant in Baltimore. SSD, NASA, and Aerospace inspectors explored the vehicle  and studied its manufacturing and test records. This detailed inspection disclosed severe contamination of electrical connectors throughout, as well as a broken idler gear in the turbopump. These defects, plus the fact that 42 major components had yet to achieve documented flight status, forced the team to reject GLV-1. Failing to pass this type of inspection on the first try was not unusual, but it meant another long delay before GLV-1 reached the launch site.59
SSD and Aerospace members of Dineen's team also conducted a First Article Configuration Inspection (FACI) of GLV-1, with far more encouraging results. FACI had been a standard Air Force procedure since June 1962, a kind of audit of the actual product - as compared to engineering design - to provide a baseline for later products under the same contract. No SSD launch vehicle had ever made the grade on its first try, but GLV-1 did. Such defects as contaminated electrical connectors or broken gears, which barred its acceptance for Gemini, did not reflect discrepancies between design and product.60
No sooner was the inspection over than Martin technicians began to set things right. Armed with magnifying glasses, they searched every one of the 350 electrical connectors aboard GLV-1 for traces of contamination and found 180 needing to be cleaned or replaced. All flight control equipment that had produced transient malfunctions during CSAT was removed and analyzed. Defective units were replaced and wiring harnesses reinstalled. At the same time, Martin tried to complete documentation of failure analyses and qualification of flight hardware. This extensive reworking of GLV-1 invalidated most of the earlier test results. Martin's plan for an informal retest of problem areas only was rejected in favor of a full-scale repetition of CSAT. Subsystems testing and a preliminary acceptance test were finished by 2 October.61
The second formal acceptance test of GLV-1 ran on 4 October, uncovering little that needed to be corrected. Dineen's team reconvened at Baltimore on 9 October and took only two days to complete its work and decide that GLV-1 could be shipped to the Cape. The team was scarcely enthusiastic about the vehicle. Much work remained to be done on GLV-1, but it could be done at the Cape, and there at least GLV-1 could be helping to check out the launch complex itself.62
On 26 October 1963, GLV-1's two stages, each strapped to an eight-wheeled trailer, were towed to the Martin Airport, next to the plant, and rolled through the rear loading door of a huge C-133B cargo aircraft provided by the Military Air Transport Service. A four-hour flight brought the two stages to Florida. Still on their trailers, they were rolled from the aircraft into the hands of Joseph M. Verlander's Martin-Canaveral crew, who towed them to Hangar H to be unpacked, inspected, and fitted with the gear (such as lifting rings) required to erect them. There they remained, under guard, over the weekend.  On Monday morning, 28 October, the trailer bearing the first stage reached complex 19.
At the launch complex, the Martin crew trundled the first stage up the long ramp to the launch vehicle erector, which rested on its side parallel to the deck of the test stand. The trailer rolled through the large door (the roof when the erector was standing) and stopped a meter and a half (five feet) from the other end. The crew secured the stage, removed the trailer, and closed the roof-door. A 150-horsepower electric motor then winched the 127-tonne (140-ton) erector upright, a process that took several hours. The trailer-borne second stage arrived at the launch pad a day later. Ordinarily, the next step was mounting the second stage on the first, but GLV-1 was slated for a special static firing test in mid-December, the sequenced compatibility firing of both stages. So stage II was placed in the second-stage erector, a smaller structure used only for checkout or static firings, and the two stages were cabled together. After checking to be sure there was no interference, Verlander's team applied electrical power to the two stages standing side by side on 13 November.63
Work at the Cape on GLV-1 was already a week behind schedule. Problems in Baltimore had pushed the launch date from December 1963 to February 1964. Another two-month delay now threatened. Mathews announced himself "greatly concerned with the present situation regarding the Gemini Program at the Atlantic Missile Range." Four distinct groups - SSD, the Air Force's 6555th Aerospace Test Wing (in charge of all Cape launches), Martin-Baltimore, and Martin-Canaveral - were testing and checking out the launch vehicle, with no formal understanding on how responsibilities were to be divided among them. Clarification was not long in coming; but meanwhile matters had become so confused that two distinct Launch Test Directives had surfaced. To make things worse, NASA people at the Cape complained about lack of access to technical data from the contractors. Poorly meshed working groups compounded other problems - a time-consuming review of the official work plan, procurement snags, and, most serious, questions of compatibility between booster and AGE - which extended the planned number of working days to get GLV-1 ready for launch from 86 to 118. By 22 November 1963, Mathews had to tell Seamans that even the already late 28 February 1964 launch date was likely to drop back to 1 April although GPO was working hard to improve the prospect.64
In one move to help resolve management problems, Mathews united the several coordination panels that had been dealing with Titan II and related areas into a single Gemini Launch Vehicle Coordination Committee with six standing panels.#  All panels were to meet at the same time every third week, then report to the parent committee, which would decide what action was to be taken. That should mean no more delays caused by uncertain authority, duplicated effort, or conflicting decisions.65 Mathews and GPO launch vehicle manager Willis Mitchell also took steps to make good some of the time already lost. The Martin crew switched from two 8-hour to two 12-hour shifts a day. Checkout problems persisted, however, and the scheduled sequenced firing slipped from 20 December 1963 to 3 January 1964. Although a February launch of GLV-1 seemed out of the question, Mathews still hoped to launch by 17 March.66
But the problems refused to end. The combined systems test scheduled for l3 December was twice postponed and finally completed on New Year's Eve. Lack of compatibility between the booster and its support systems in complex 19, as well as a faulty turbopump assembly that had to be returned to Aerojet-General, were the major causes of delay. Next was the so-called wet mock simulated flight test, a complete countdown that included filling the propellant tanks; it was voided on 3 January by procedural errors after propellants had already been loaded. The test was called off two and a half hours before the simulated launch, although the count went on until T-30 (30 minutes before launch) to see if any other problems turned up and to give the operations crew some practice. Another try, on 7 January, was a success.
The countdown for sequenced compatibility firing was now set to begin, but a three and a half hour delay was imposed by contaminated oxidizer. Then, during the countdown, a malfunctioning first-stage propellant valve caused the test to be called off 20 minutes before firing. A second try, on 14 January, had to be canceled because unusually cool weather had chilled the engine start cartridges below the 275 kelvins (35°F) specified as the lower limit be Aerojet-General to prevent combustion instability. At last, on 21 January, the third attempt overcame some minor problems and delays to show the whole sequence of fueling, countdown, ignition and shutoff commands, guidance control, and telemetry. First-stage engines fired for 30 seconds and cut off. The second-stage ignited and fired for 30 seconds, halted by radio signal from the ground computer as in real flight. Sequenced compatibility firing proved that the engines delivered the required thrust and gimbaled properly. This static firing, the only one performed on a Gemini launch vehicle, met all prelaunch standards.67
 With static firing finally out of the way, the ground crew could now begin getting the booster ready for the spacecraft. That meant putting the second stage on top of the first, which was scheduled for 27 January. But post-firing cleanup found a defective rotor in one of the turbopump assemblies. Shipped to the West Coast for repair, it returned to the Cape on 29 January. Then a missing seal held up its reinstallation until 7 February.
The launch crew did not wait for the new seal; the turbopump assembly could be put back in the second stage after it was erected. On 31 January, they removed the stage from the small erector and secured it in the launch vehicle erector, which was then winched upright. The upper stage was gently lowered onto the first, and the two were bolted together. GLV-1 had assumed its final form. Before the spacecraft could be mated to the booster, there were still subsystem functional verification tests (like those done earlier in Baltimore) to be conducted. Although these tests were supposed to start on 14 February, lack of spare parts and questions about failure analyses imposed another week's delay. Once testing began on 21 February, however, it went smoothly to verify the launch vehicle's readiness for full systems testing by3 March.
On that day, Spacecraft 1 arrived at the launch complex to be installed in the spacecraft erector support assembly in a controlled-access "white room" atop the launch vehicle erector.68
* President Johnson issued and Executive Order on 29 November 1963, changing the name of the Launch Operations Center to the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in honor of the late President. The Department of the Interior concurred and Cape Canaveral became Cape Kennedy.
** GLV-1 was already at the Cape on 26 October 1963, a week before the flight of Titan Missile N-25 first promised an answer to the Pogo problem. It was mostly Martin-Denver people who were struggling with missile problems.
*** The inspection team, headed by Major Robert Goebel (SSD), included representatives of Martin, NASA Aerospace, and the Air Force. Coordinating the team's activities was John R. Lovell, GLV-1's "chaperon." A launch vehicle chaperon started his duties at Denver with the building of the tanks, then traveled with the tanks to Baltimore and went through all the testing, keeping complete records of everything that took place and the results. He flew to the Cape with the assembled vehicle and remained with the booster until it was launched, when he returned to Baltimore. Aerojet-General also used the chaperon system, calling its people "guardian engineers." J.W. Gustafson shepherded the first- and second-stage engines from their beginnings in Sacramento, California, to liftoff at the Cape.
**** AGE is one of those acronyms that tend to take on a life of their own. The formal meaning of AGE is aerospace ground equipment, but the acronym was (and is) immeasurably more common in use.
# Jerome Hammack of GPO was chairman of the Coordination Committee, with Lieutenant Colonel Alfred J. Gardner, Chief, Engineering Division, Gemini Launch Vehicle Program, SSD, as associate. Panels were headed by John W. Smith (structures). John J. Turner, (systems), Marlowe D. Cassetti (launch guidance and control). Donald Jacobs (abort), Carl Kovitz (test operations), and Richard E. Lindeman (cost, schedules, and contracts). All the panel chiefs were from GPO, except Cassetti, who worked in the Flight Operations Directorate.
47 Purser, "Minutes of Project Gemini Management Panel Meeting . . . , June 27, 1963," p. 2; "Configuration Document for Gemini Spacecraft Number 1, Preliminary," MAC No. 8611-1, 1 Oct. 1962 (revised 28 March 1963), p. 10; TWX, Mathews to Burke, GS-53188, 18 Feb. 1964; Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grimwood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 (Washington, 1966), p. 228; "Abstract of Meeting on Ground Network, April 24, 1963," 7 May 1963; TWX, Mathews to Burke, GPO-50727, 21 March 1963.
48 Letter, J. M. Gardner, Jr., to MSC, Attn: Contracting Officer, "Contract NAS 9-170, Gemini, Description of Project Orbit Testing and Spacecraft System Testing," 306-16-990, 990, 13 July 1962, enclosure 2, "Spacecraft System Testing, Description of Work"; Quarterly Status Report No. 6, for period ending 31 Aug.1963, p. 85; Purser, "Minutes of Project Gemini Management Panel Meeting . . . , September 5, 1963," p. 2; R. W. Miller, "Monthly Progress Letter Report, 1 July 1963 thru 31 July 1963," pp. 25-26.
49 "Spacecraft System Testing, Description," pp. 2-5; Quarterly Status Report No. 6, p. 85; Miller, "Monthly Progress Letter Report, 1 September thru 30 September 1963," p. 24.
50 TWX, Mathews to Burke, GPO-54222-A, 30 Sept. 1963; "Abstract of Meeting on Spacecraft No. 1 Roll-Out Inspection, October 1, 1963," 7 Oct. 1963; Mathews, activity report, 29 Sept. - 5 Oct. 1963, p. 1.
51 Purser, "Minutes of Project Gemini Management Panel Meeting . . . , December 20, 1962," p. 3; "Abstract[s] of Meetings on Spacecraft Operations, August 3, 1962," 13 Aug., and "August 24, 1962," 29 Aug. 1962; Walter J. Kapryan and Wiley E. Williams, "Spacecraft Launch Preparations," in Gemini Midprogram Conference, Including Experiment Results, NASA SP-121 (Washington, 1966), pp. 213-14; Quarterly Status Report No.2, for period ending 31 Aug. 1962, pp. 35-36.
52 "Gemini Program Mission Report for Gemini-Titan 1 (GT-1)," MSC-R-G-64-1, May 1964, pp. 3-4, -5, 12-1, -11, -12, -13; Executive Order 11129, 29 Nov. 1963, and Decisions on Geographic Names in the United States, September through December 1963, Decision List No. 6303, Dept. of the Interior, 1964, as cited in Angela C. Gresser, "Historical Aspects Concerning the Redesignation of Facilities at Cape Canaveral," KSC Historical Note No. 1, April 1964, pp. 15, 18; letter, Mathews to Burke, GP- 03496, 3 March 1964.
53 "GT-l Mission Report," pp. 3-3, 12-1, -4.
54 "Abstract of Meeting on Titan II, March 1, 1963," 5 March 1963; Harris, "Launch Vehicle Chronology," p. 17; "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-6; Gemini-Titan II Air Force Launch Vehicle Press Handbook (Martin-Baltimore, 2nd ed., Manned Space Flight, 1965), pp. B-10, D-1; Robert Goebel, Kenneth W. Graham, and David H. Baxter, "Activities Pertinent to the Technical Review of the First Gemini Launch Vehicle Propellant Tanks Inspection during the Period 11 February - 6 March 1963," n.d.; Goebel and John R. Lovell, "Summary of GLV-1 Roll Out Inspection," 14 Feb. 1963; Goebel and Lovell, "Summary of GLV-001 Tank Roll Out Inspection," 5 March 1963; Haggai Cohen, interview, Baltimore, 24 May 1966; J[oseph] F. Wambolt and S[ally] F. Anderson, coordinators, "Gemini Program Launch Systems Final Report: Gemini/Titan Launch Vehicle; Gemini Agena Target Vehicle; Atlas SLV- 3," Aerospace TOR-1001(2126-80)-3, January 1967, p. II.F-1; Bastian Hello, interview, Baltimore, 23 May 1966; news release AGS-625, "Guardian Engineer Leaves People to Angels," Aerojet-General Corp., n.d.; Sol Levine, "Man-Rating the Gemini Launch Vehicle," presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1st Annual Meeting and Technical Display, Washington, 29 June - 2 July 1964, pp. 24-25.
55 "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-6; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, p. D-1.
56 "Gemini Launch Vehicle Familiarization Manual," Martin-Baltimore, revised February 1965, p. 1-21; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, pp. 4-5, D-1; Wambolt and Anderson, "Launch Systems Final Report," p. II.F-1; Cohen interview; Willard Thackston, interview, Baltimore, 23 May 1966.
57 Weekly Activity Reports, 2-8 June, pp. 2-3, and 16-22 June 1963, p. 3; Purser, "Management Panel Meeting, June 27, 1963,"pp. 23; "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-7; Mathews, activity report, 28 July-3 Aug. 1963, pp. 1-2.
58 "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-7; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, p. D-7; Walter D. Smith, "Gemini Launch Vehicle Development," in Gemini Midprogram Conference, pp. 11718; Wambolt and Anderson, "Launch Systems Final Report," pp. II. F-1, -2; Cohen interview.
59 Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, p. D-2; TWX, Mathews to Dineen, GPO-54159-A, 9 Sept. 1963; Wambolt and Anderson, "Launch Systems Final Report," p. II.G-3; "Aerospace Corporation Annual Report, Fiscal 1963-1964," n.d.; Weekly Activity Report, 22-28 Sept. 1963, p. 1.
60 Harris, "Launch Vehicle Chronology," p. 28; "GATV Progress Report, May 1965," LMSC-A605200-9, 20 June 1965, p. 2-12.
61 "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-7; Harris, "Launch Vehicle Chronology," p. 28; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, p. D-2; "Aerospace Annual Report, 1963-1964;" Robert R. Hull, interview, Los Angeles, 18 April 1966.
62 "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-7; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook, pp. D-2, -3; Purser, "Minutes of Project Gemini Management Panel Meeting, November 13, 1963," p. 3.
63 "GT-1 Mission Report," pp. 12-8, 23; Consolidated Activity Report, 20 Oct. - 16 Nov. 1963, p. 84; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook (1964 ed.), pp. IV-10, -13, VII-10, -12, -15; Purser, "Management Panel Meeting, November 13, 1963," p.3; Hal Taylor, ed., "Gemini Special Report: Titan II Carefully Groomed for New Role, Missiles and Rockets, 13 April 1964, p. 27.
64 Letter, Mathews to Dineen, GPO-03268-A. 9 Nov. 1963; TWX, Mathews to NASA Hq. for Seamans, GPO-52121-LV, 22 Nov. 1963; Weekly Activity Report, 17-23 Nov. 1963, p. 1.
65 Letter, Mathews to Dineen, "Gemini Launch Vehicle Coordination Committee," GPO-03277-A, 3 Dec. 1963; TWX, Mathews to Dineen, GPO-54424-A, 5 Dec. 1963; letter, Mathews to Dineen, "Gemini Launch Vehicle Coordination Committee," GP-03470, 20 Feb. 1964.
66 TWXs, Mathews to NASA Hq. for Seamans, GPO-52179-LV, 13 Dec., and GPO-52187LV, 23 Dec.1963; letter, Funk to Gilruth, "Gemini Launch Vehicle Meeting Regarding Operations at Cape Kennedy," 21 Jan. 1964.
67 "GT-1 Mission Report," p.12-8; Consolidated Activity Reports, 17 Nov. - 21 Dec., pp. 21, 73, and 22 Dec. 1963-18 Jan. 1964, p. 64; Weekly Activity Reports, 5-11 Jan., p. 8, and 19-25 Jan. 1964, p. 7; Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1964: Chronology on Science, Technology, and Policy, NASA SP-4005 (Washington, 1965), p. 20; "Gemini-Titan II Firing a Success," Missiles and Rockets, 27 Jan. 1964, pp.10-11; Launch Vehicle Press Handbook (1964 ed.), p. I-9; Wambolt and Anderson, "Launch Systems Final Report," p. II.F-3.
68 "GT-1 Mission Report," p. 12-9; TWX, Kapryan to MSC for Mathews, AMR-03-105, 3 March 1964; TWX, Mathews to Hq., Attn: Schneider, "GLV Status Reports Nos. 7 & 8, Feb. 3 & 4, 1964," GT-55036, 4 Feb. 1964.