The entire NASA Mission Reports series are well worth having in your library. -- Extreme Rocketry, October, 2003
The final document in this book has been added mainly for the curious. It reflects on a plan to actually use the mated Gemini-Agena to send astronauts around the moon. Although today it may seem to have been an especially audcious plan - particularly given the notoriously unreliable nature of Agena - at the time it was given serious consideration. In fact the original project Gemini chief engineer, Jim Chamberlin, had espoused such an idea back in March of 1961 before Gemini had flown its first flight, such was his confidence in the vehicle which he and his team were bringing to fruition. Chamberlin was a notably brilliant designer who had come to the fledging Space Task Group (STG) when the Avro Arrow CF-105 program had been concelled in Canada. Robert Gilruth had placed Chamberlin at the top of the engineering division at STG and in early 1961 he had been assigned the problem of coming up with an advanced Mercury spacecraft.
Chamberlin had worked extensively on Mercury and so he knew its weaknesses, so when he turned his considerable talents to improving the vehicle he knew it would require an overhaul to do it right. Between January and August of 1961 Chamberlin conceived of a new vehicle which would build on Mercury's strengths an eliminate many weaknesses. His ideas soon took the advanced Mercury program from what was to have been an upgrade to an entirely new program - which he felt could accomplish much of Apollo's goals. All through the summer of 1961 Chamberlin rewrote his ideas for a Gemini lunar mission. His ideas for a spider-like lander soon coincided quite handily with the ideas which were coming from John Houbolt at Langley. It was becoming evident that lunar orbit rendezvous was the way to get to the moon, and this fit nicely with the proposals that Chamberlin had devised. But his ideas were met with much scepticism by Abe Silverstein, director of Space Flight Programs.
Chamberlin must have never quite given up on the idea because the report at the end of this book comes from mid-1965. Some engineers must have felt that the only way to complete Kennedy's punitive time-line was to resort to the ever-reliable Gemini, but it ws not to be. The contracting engineers and NASA rallied to the call and as they say, the rest is history.