Gemini


Gemini
/jem"euh nuy', -nee/, n.pl., gen. Geminorum /jem'euh nawr"euhm, -nohr"-/ for 1.
1. Astron. the Twins, a zodiacal constellation between Taurus and Cancer containing the bright stars Castor and Pollux.
2. Astrol.
a. the third sign of the zodiac: the mutable air sign. See illus. under zodiac.
b. a person born under this sign, usually between May 21st and June 20th.
3. a two-person U.S. spacecraft designed for orbital rendezvous and docking: used in 1965-66 in various experiments preparatory to a landing on the moon.
[1350-1400; ME < L gemini, pl. of geminus]

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I
(Latin: "Twins") In astronomy, the constellation lying between Cancer and Taurus; in astrology, the third sign of the zodiac, governing approximately the period May 21–June 21.

It is represented by a set of twins. The twins are most often identified as the mythological Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri), but have also been equated with other famous pairs such as Romulus and Remus.
II
Series of 12 two-person spacecraft launched into Earth orbit by the U.S. between 1964 and 1967, following the one-person Mercury program and before the three-person Apollo program.

Designed to test astronauts' ability to maneuver spacecraft manually, the Gemini series helped develop techniques for orbital rendezvous and docking, procedures that were required later in the Apollo Moon-landing missions. It also gave NASA engineers a chance to improve spacecraft environmental control and electrical power systems.

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 (Latin: “Twins”), in astronomy, zodiacal constellation lying between Cancer and Taurus, at about 7 hours right ascension (the coordinate of the celestial sphere analogous to longitude on the Earth) and 22° north declination (angular distance north of the celestial equator). Its brightest stars are Castor and Pollux (Alpha and Beta Geminorum), Pollux being the brighter of the two. The summer solstice, the northernmost point reached by the Sun in its annual apparent journey among the stars, lies in Gemini.

      In astrology, Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac, considered as governing the period c. May 21–c. June 21. It is represented by a set of twins (in Egyptian astrology by a pair of goats and in Arabian astrology by a pair of peacocks). In addition to their identification as Castor and Pollux, the twins have also been related to other celebrated pairs, such as the younger and older Horus, or Romulus and Remus.

▪ spacecraft and space program
     any of a series of 12 two-man spacecraft launched into orbit around the Earth by the United States between 1964 and 1967. The Gemini (Latin: “Twins”) program was preceded by the Mercury series of one-man spacecraft and was followed by the Apollo series of three-man spacecraft. The Gemini program was chiefly designed to test the ability of astronauts to maneuver their spacecraft by means of manual control. The Gemini series, directed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), helped to develop the techniques for orbital rendezvous and docking with a target vehicle, procedures that were vital to the subsequent Apollo Moon-landing program. It also provided NASA engineers with an opportunity to improve environmental control and electrical power systems of spacecraft. During the Gemini 4 mission (launched June 3, 1965), astronaut Edward H. White (White, Edward H., II) practiced maneuvering outside the spacecraft for 20 minutes, demonstrating man's increasing ability to function in space. Gemini 5 (Aug. 21, 1965) completed an eight-day mission, the longest space flight undertaken up to that time. Gemini 12 (Nov. 11, 1966), the last in the series, made the first automatically controlled reentry into the Earth's atmosphere.

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Universalium. 2010.

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