GEMINI spacecraft orbits Earth after launched into space by an Air Force TITAN II launch vehicle. The two-man vehicle could be headed for a rendezvous attempt with another spacecraft or it could be on an extended flight of a week or more giving the crew experience in flight through outer space.
The Next Fifty Years in Space by Erik Bergaust Macmillan, 1964
The Space Shuttle will take off vertically with a pilot and a c0-pilot at the helm and two other crew members. In early operations, the Shuttle port will be at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, for east-west orbits. Later a port will be added at Vandenberg Air For Base, California for north-south orbits.
Two solid-propellant booster rockets will supply most of the power (1). About 40 kilometers (25 miles) high, the boosters will separate (2) and descend by parachute to the ocean surface (3). There they will be recovered and returned to the launch site for reuse.The main section of the Shuttle, called the Orbiter, will continue flying (4) on the power of its liquid-propellant engines, supplied by a large external tank. After these two sections reach orbit, the tank will separate (5) and land in a remote ocean area. The Orbiter will be able to carry out space missions lasting at least seven days (6). Special materials covering its entire surface will protect the interior from the searing heat of re-entry. The Orbiter will fly horizontally like an airplane during the latter phase of descent (7) and it will land on a runway (8) near the launch site (9). As ground crews gain experience in readying it for subsequent flights, the turnaround time will be reduced to two weeks.