8 April 1964

A Gemini 1 test flight is conducted.

Project Gemini was NASA’s second human spaceflight program. Conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, Gemini started in 1961 and concluded in 1966. The Gemini spacecraft carried a two-astronaut crew. Ten Gemini crews flew low Earth orbit missions during 1965 and 1966, putting the United States in the lead during the Cold War Space Race against the Soviet Union.

Gemini’s objective was the development of space travel techniques to support the Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon. It performed missions long enough for a trip to the Moon and back, perfected working outside the spacecraft with extra-vehicular activity, and pioneered the orbital maneuvers necessary to achieve space rendezvous and docking. With these new techniques proven by Gemini, Apollo could pursue its prime mission without doing these fundamental exploratory operations.

All Gemini flights were launched from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida. Their launch vehicle was the Gemini–Titan II, a modified Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Gemini was the first program to use the newly built Mission Control Center at the Houston Manned Spacecraft Center for flight control.

The astronaut corps that supported Project Gemini included the “Mercury Seven”, “The New Nine”, and the 1963 astronaut class. During the program, three astronauts died in air crashes during training, including the prime crew for Gemini 9. This mission was flown by the backup crew, the only time that has happened in NASA’s history to date.

Gemini was robust enough that the United States Air Force planned to use it for the Manned Orbital Laboratory program, which was later canceled. Gemini’s chief designer, Jim Chamberlin, also made detailed plans for cislunar and lunar landing missions in late 1961. He believed that Gemini spacecraft could fly in lunar operations before Project Apollo, and cost less. NASA’s administration did not approve those plans. In 1969, McDonnell-Douglas proposed a “Big Gemini” that could have been used to shuttle up to 12 astronauts to the planned space stations in the Apollo Applications Project. The only AAP project funded was Skylab – which used existing spacecraft and hardware – thereby eliminating the need for Big Gemini.

8 April 1964

A test flight of Gemini 1 is conducted.

Project Gemini was NASA’s second human spaceflight program. Conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, Gemini started in 1961 and concluded in 1966. The Gemini spacecraft carried a two-astronaut crew. Ten Gemini crews flew low Earth orbit missions during 1965 and 1966, putting the United States in the lead during the Cold War Space Race against the Soviet Union.

Gemini’s objective was the development of space travel techniques to support the Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon. It performed missions long enough for a trip to the Moon and back, perfected working outside the spacecraft with extra-vehicular activity, and pioneered the orbital maneuvers necessary to achieve space rendezvous and docking. With these new techniques proven by Gemini, Apollo could pursue its prime mission without doing these fundamental exploratory operations.

All Gemini flights were launched from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida. Their launch vehicle was the Gemini–Titan II, a modified Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Gemini was the first program to use the newly built Mission Control Center at the Houston Manned Spacecraft Center for flight control.

The astronaut corps that supported Project Gemini included the “Mercury Seven”, “The New Nine”, and the 1963 astronaut class. During the program, three astronauts died in air crashes during training, including the prime crew for Gemini 9. This mission was flown by the backup crew, the only time that has happened in NASA’s history to date.

Gemini was robust enough that the United States Air Force planned to use it for the Manned Orbital Laboratory program, which was later canceled. Gemini’s chief designer, Jim Chamberlin, also made detailed plans for cislunar and lunar landing missions in late 1961. He believed that Gemini spacecraft could fly in lunar operations before Project Apollo, and cost less. NASA’s administration did not approve those plans. In 1969, McDonnell-Douglas proposed a “Big Gemini” that could have been used to shuttle up to 12 astronauts to the planned space stations in the Apollo Applications Project. The only AAP project funded was Skylab – which used existing spacecraft and hardware – thereby eliminating the need for Big Gemini.

8 April 1950

Pakistan and India sign the Liaquat–Nehru Pact.

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On April 8, 1950, the Delhi Pact was signed. It was the outcome of six days of talks between India and Pakistan. The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan wanted to ensure the rights of minorities in both countries. Most importantly, they wanted to avert another war, which seemed to be brewing since the partition in 1947.

A wave of fear spread among the people. The then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan decided to solve the issue. He issued a statement stating the need for an immediate solution and also proposed that his Indian counterpart hold a meeting to look into the problem. The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi on, April 2, 1950. They signed an agreement to safeguard the rights of the minorities. This pact, came to be known as the Liaquat-Nehru Pact. Some of the objectives of this pact were to lessen the fear of religious minorities, to put an end to communal riots and to create an atmosphere of peace.

It was agreed that both governments would ensure complete and equal right of citizenship and security of life and properties to their minorities. Ensuring full fundamental human rights which included the rights of freedom of movement, freedom of thoughts and expression and the right of religion, was part of the deal. A minorities commission was to be set up to make sure that they would be represented. They vowed to not violate the rules of the pact and to make all efforts to reinforce it. If the minorities faced any problem, it would be the duty of both the governments to redress their problems without delay. In short, this pact agreed to guarantee full right to their minorities and to accord them the status of citizens.