Kit #AA2079. 1/72 scale. This is
a highly-detailed resin kit of the proposed USAF Blue Gemini military space capsule, complete with decals.
In 1961, after success of the
Mercury spacecraft, NASA contracted McDonnell to design a larger two-man
Mercury Mark II, a bigger space capsule designed for longer space flights,
which was soon renamed Gemini. The Gemini
required the larger Titan II launch
vehicle (also available from Anigrand).
The Air Force became interested in Gemini because it would be ready much
earlier than the X-20 Dyna-Soar
spaceplane (also available from Anigrand). Russians already had men in orbit, and it was
feared that their space capsules could carry orbital nuclear bombs. In 1962,
the Air Force designated their military spacecraft as Blue Gemini – essentially an off-the-shelf NASA Gemini vehicle, to
be built and flown in parallel with NASA’s Gemini missions.
In January 1963, Blue Gemini was cancelled
by Secretary of Defense before production could begin.
The Air Force had soon proposed another
manned military flight program, the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL). This
program included the Gemini B spacecraft,
a modified Gemini built with a tunnel through its heat shield to enable the
astronauts to reach the MOL spacecraft. There was only one test flight of an
unmanned Gemini B / MOL mockup in
1966. This was not the Blue Gemini
project under another name, and should not be confused with Blue Gemini. A mock-up of the Gemini B is on display at the National Museum of the United States,
and is physically similar to the proposed Blue