Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA’s Gemini program. It was the third manned Gemini flight, the 11th manned American flight and the 19th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). It was also the first time an American manned space mission held the world record for duration, set on August 26, 1965, by breaking the Soviet Union’s previous record set by Vostok 5 in 1963.
Gemini 5 doubled the U.S space-flight record of the Gemini 4 mission to eight days. This flight was crucial because the length of time it took to fly to the moon, land and return would take eight days. This was possible due to new fuel cells that generated enough electricity to power longer missions, a pivotal innovation for future Apollo flights.
Mercury veteran Gordon Cooper was the first person to travel on orbital missions twice. He and Conrad took high-resolution photographs for the Defense Department, but problems with the fuel cells and maneuvering system forced the cancellation of several other experiments.
This was the first mission to have an insignia patch. After Gemini 3, NASA barred astronauts from naming their spacecraft. Cooper, having realized he had never been in a military organization without one, suggested a mission patch to symbolize the flight. NASA agreed, and the patches got the generic name of “Cooper patch.”