Gemini 8 Flown Spacecraft Heatshield Lucite

Genuine Gemini 8 Capsule heatshield section sealed in an acrylic model shaped like the Gemini spacecraft and mounted on a jet-black, solid acrylic base.

In stock

Archive Id GT4-HSL-FSF


The embedded heatshield came from Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott's first spaceflight, Gemini VIII (Gemini 8). The mission was to be the first to link two spacecraft together in Earth orbit utilizing the Agena Target Vehicle, and while their docking was successful, the mission nearly ended in disaster when their spacecraft began to tumble out of control. Armstrong worked to regain control of the spacecraft, which led to them detaching from the Agena Target Vehicle, but this only made matters worse, and their capsule began to spin more rapidly. Much to NASA's surprise, Scott called in to ground control; "We have serious problems here. We’re tumbling end over end. We’re disengaged from the Agena.” Armstrong followed up with, “We’re rolling up, and we can’t turn anything off.” The crew was in mortal danger as their spacecraft was spinning at one revolution per second, causing their vision to become blurred. It was Armstrong’s quick thinking that led him to turn off the entire Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System and then use the spacecraft's re-entry control system thrusters to regain control and stop the spin, saving both of their lives. This piece of heatshield is from this famous mission.

Product Information:

  • Gemini capsule measures 120mm x 62mm x 62mm
  • Embedded heatshield measures approx 5.5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm
  • Base measures 120mm x 85mm x 40mm
  • Base exhibits the Gemini Program logo, spacecraft, and crew identification
  • Bottom of the capsule exhibits authentication information

Authentication Information:

The embedded heatshield originated from the collection of William Hilborn, a 45-year veteran at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, builders of the Mercury and Gemini capsules. It included the original period tag known for the time, identifying the heatshield as being from Gemini VIII. The heatshield also exhibits all of the necessary markers for flown heatshield of a Gemini spacecraft, from the build to the charring and re-entry directional pattern.

Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity:

All of our artifacts are thoroughly and extensively researched before being listed for sale, so much so that we're proud to offer a lifetime guarantee of authenticity for this and other artifacts listed on our website. We also hold a record of every piece we sell, which can be identified and searched in our online database using the serial number listed on your certificate of authenticity.