Anniversary of the first manned rendezvous in space

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(CBS Newspath) -- On this day in history, December 15, 1965, manned spacecrafts Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 made a rendezvous in space. Gemini 6 blasted off from Cape Kennedy earlier on the same day in order to meet its sister capsule, already in orbit. Gemini 7 had been in space for 11 days.

After takeoff, Gemini 6 followed behind Gemini 7 at an initial distance of 1,200 miles. The two crafts eventually came within 6-10 feet of each other and flew in formation for 6 hours. For the first time in space history the two spaceships maneuvered over, under, and around each other.

Gemini 6 returned to earth the next day. Gemini 7 remained in flight until December 18, 1965 setting several new records for space travel. The milestones included having 4 men simultaneously in space, the maneuvering of the craft as well as their close proximity.