Geek Trivia

Who Was The Only Civilian Astronaut In The Gemini Space Program?

Richard Gordon
Neil Armstrong
Pete Conrad
Buzz Aldrin
What Is Known Informally As "Our Solar System's Vacuum Cleaner"?


Answer: Neil Armstrong

Sixteen astronauts flew on ten manned Gemini missions through the early to mid-1960s. Among the sixteen there was only one civilian pilot. There were nine active-duty United States Air Force pilots, six active-duty United States Navy pilots, and one civilian pilot: Neil Armstrong.

Now, lest you think NASA was taking a chance on an untested civilian pilot, it’s worth noting that Armstrong was a civilian by retirement; prior to his life at NASA he was a decorated Navy pilot and then later accomplished test pilot involved in testing of such air craft as the Bell X-5, Thunderchief, Delta Dart, and was one of only eight pilots employed in the Parasev paraglider research project.