Most regular readers of Vintage Space will know that I’m obsessed with the Gemini Paraglider, the landing system that should have made splashdowns obsolete starting in the early 1960s but (to make a long story short) just couldn’t keep pace with Apollo. I’ve written about landings and the paraglider extensively in old blog posts: I’ve dealt with landings generally; discussed splashdowns as an imperfect landing method; talked about the paraglider’s inclusion in the Gemini program and the training vehicle astronauts flew to practice making paraglider landings; I’ve written about the paraglider’s cancellation from the Gemini program; it’s fate after Gemini; and even plans to use the paraglider to land the first stage of the Saturn V rocket. (And yes, there’s more, and I am working on bringing all of these pieces into something much larger.)
I brought my love of the paraglider to Scientific American this month. The latest episode of “It Happened in Space” gives a very brief overview of the Gemini paraglider landing system.