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Gemini IV launches on June 3, 1965 from Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida. The mission included the first US spacewalk.

The photo is included in "Spaceshots and Snapshots of Projects Mercury and Gemini: A Rare Photographic History," which is set for publication next month to coincide with the anniversary of that launch.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: University of New Mexico Press / Read the article
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Pilot Edward H. White II (left) and command pilot James A. McDivitt pose on July 29, 1964, two days after being selected for the Gemini IV mission.

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McDivitt (left) and White stand in front of the radar tracking and communication antenna at NASA's Cape Kennedy Mission Control Center.

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White (left) and suit tech Joe Schmitt (right) check a pocket on White's pressure suit on launch day. Astronaut Office chief Alan Shepard, who had been removed from flight status in 1964 due to an inner ear disorder, is in the middle.

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White's Hand-Held Maneuvering Unit, consisting of two compressed oxygen bottles that jet oxygen, allowing the bearer to make small movements in space. The mounted camera is a Zeiss IkonContarex Special 35mm equipped with a 50mm lens.

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White's visor, with separate layers to protect from the sun's visible light and ultraviolet rays, as well as micrometeoroids and heat, while on "extravehicular" activity. White was the first American astronaut to walk in space.

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The umbilical cable supplied White with oxygen, and held communication and bioinstrumentation circuits. The gold Mylar coating provided thermal protection.

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McDivitt's wife, Patricia, talks to her husband, while White's wife, also named Patricia, listens in -- marking the first time an astronaut's family members got to speak with them during a mission.

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The Gemini IV's reentry module, is attended by divers opening the hatch. The green dye, automatically deployed, allowed aircraft to more easily spot the module, which landed 43 nautical miles (80 kilometres) from its intended target. The astronauts were recovered by the aircraft carrier USS Wasp.

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White, aboard the USS Wasp -- unshaven after four days in space -- speaks with President Lyndon Johnson on June 7, 1965.

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