NASA's Gemini V orbital mission tested the limits of astronauts' endurance

SEATTLE, Aug. 12­­, 2015--On Aug. 21, The Museum of Flight opens a new exhibit about the first crewed spaceflight that dared to fly for a week, NASA's Gemini V mission. The "8 Days or Bust" exhibit opens on the fiftieth anniversary of the launch of Gemini V. The 2-person mission was designed to see if astronauts can survive in space long enough to fly to the Moon and back. In those early days of space exploration, every safe day was another triumph. "8 Days or Bust -The 50th Anniversary of Gemini V" celebrates this flight, and includes artifacts from Gemini V astronaut Pete Conrad's personal collection, and unique pieces from the Gemini program. The exhibit is free, and runs through September.

Gemini V was the second NASA mission for one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, L. Gordon Cooper. It was the first spaceflight for Charles "Pete" Conrad. Gemini V together shattered the previous in-space duration record set by the Soviet Union's Vostok 5 mission in 1963. Cooper and Conrad's beautiful new photos of the Earth were a sensation, and they also helped with NASA's lunar aspirations by testing the fuel cell technology necessary to power round-trips to the Moon.

Image: NASA astronauts Pete Conrad (left) and Gordon Cooper in the Gemini V spacecraft.
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Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The Museum's collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to today's 787 Dreamliner. Attractions also include the original Boeing Company factory, and the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum's aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 150,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors 65 and older, $17 for active military, $12 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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Rachel Dreeben
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