The Omega Speedmaster Gemini VII: A long-duration mission

With the long-duration Gemini 7 mission, NASA was again investigating the effects of spending longer periods of time in space on the human body. This Omega Speedmaster Gemini VII from the Missions Collection pays tribute to that record-setting spaceflight that lasted 14 days and made a total of 206 orbits.

The astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell were in space for double the time that anyone had been there until that point. The insignia of the mission, which can be seen on the dial of the Speedmaster in the image above, features an Olympic torch, portraying the marathon-like length of the trip.

Apart from the outstanding achievements of Gemini 7, which also included being the passive target for the first crewed space rendezvous performed by Gemini 6A, this mission involved learning from previous flights and tackling a multitude of more “everyday” problems of long-duration space flight, such as waste stowage. Also, studies were carried out on nutrition in space and doctors observed the effects of being suited and unsuited on the astronauts. Further, both astronauts worked and slept at the same time in a rhythm that matched the working hours of the prime shift ground crews.