In 1966, as the Gemini program was nearing an end, it was becoming obvious that a new system would soon be necessary to ferry large numbers of astronauts to the military and civilian space stations then being planned. (Ah, the 1960s!) McDonnell Douglas, primary contractors for the Gemini spacecraft, proposed building upon their existing technology to fill this need with an enlarged spacecraft that could transport up to 12 passengers plus 12 tons of payload 6 to 14 times per year.
The “Big Gemini” — or “Big G” as it was known — was set to be operational by 1971. However, by that time, virtually all of America’s space station projects had been abandoned and there was no longer a use for this system. “Big G” was deep-sixed.
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