1965-12-15 USA Gemini 6A

Gemini 6A (GT-6A), an alternate mission of Gemini 6, was launched on December 15, 1965. It was piloted by Walter M. Schirra and Thomas P. Stafford. Gemini 6 was originally planned to rendezvous with an Agena target rocket - an unmanned rocket which was launched solely as a "target" for the manned mission to meet and dock with in Earth orbit.

Due to a technical failure during the launch of the Agena rocket, the mission was cancelled. The plan was changed to bring forward the launch of Gemini 7, and to allow Gemini 6A to rendezvous in Earth orbit with it. Schirra performed the space rendezvous with Gemini 7 spacecraft in orbit. Once in formation, the two Gemini capsules flew around each other, coming within a foot (0.3 meter) of each other but never touching. The two spacecraft stayed in close proximity for five hours.

1965 GT-6a Orbit Covers cachet cover with launch day postmark. The mission achieved the first manned rendezvous with another spacecraft, Gemini 7. Signed by Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford. Canceled in Cape Canaveral on launch day December 15, 1965.
Photo: View of Gemini 7 spacecraft as seen from Gemini 6.
Two versions of Gemini 7 official NASA cachets, postmarked with a Kennedy Space Center machine cancel.
Gemini 6 USS Wasp Captain's cover with USS Wasp hand cancel.
Gemini 6a USS Wasp recovery ship cover applied with the aborted Gemini 6 mission's Beck rubber stamped cachet, a hand drawn Disney insignia for USS Wasp CV-7, the less common hand cancel and the USS Wasp ship's cachet.
A rare GT-6a USS Wasp Beck CREW Cover, only 25 covers without the "B" number printed exist.
Gemini 6a USS Wasp recovery ship cover with the aborted Gemini 6 mission's Beck rubber stamped cachet, a machine cancel with "AM" time slug. Signed by Air Boss, captain David Barksdale.
Gemini 6a USS Wasp recovery ship cover with the aborted Gemini 6 mission's Beck rubber stamped cachet, an inverted year in the machine cancel.
Gemini 6a USS Wasp recovery ship cover with the correct Gemini 6a Beck rubber stamped cachet, an inverted year in the machine cancel.
Gemini 6a USS Wasp recovery ship with USS Wasp ship's cachet. Signed by G. Merritt Preston, the Deputy Mission Director for Launch Operations.