NASA's Agena


Agena was an unmanned target vehicle with which NASA in the mid-1960s evaluated approach and rendezvous manoeuvres deemed necessary for a Moon landing during its Gemini programme. A typical mission consisted of the steps:

  1. launch of the unmanned Agena,
  2. launch of the manned Gemini,
  3. approach, rendezvous, and docking of the two spacecraft,
  4. insertion of the docked vehicles into new orbits by using the restartable Agena engine,
  5. extra-vehicluar activities (EVAs),
  6. separation from the Agena upper stage and return of the Gemini spacecraft to the earth.


You will find more information on NASA's Technical Report Server: Shuttle/Agena Study (PDF).


Agena launch
Agena launch
Agena in space
Approaching Agena
Agena in space
Gemini inspecting Agena
Agena firing
Agena firing
Agena assembly
Agena assembly
Artist's concept
Artist's concept


All images are courtesy of NASA, are subject to its image policy, and have been taken from http://grin.hq.nasa.gov.