Gemini VIII was launched on March 16, 1966, with Neil A. Armstrong serving as commander of the mission and David R. Scott serving as pilot. The primary objectives of the Gemini VIII mission were to rendezvous and dock with Gemini Agena target vehicle 5003 (GATV-5003) and conduct extra-vehicular activity (EVA) operations. The secondary objectives of the mission included rendezvous and docking in the fourth revolution; performing docked-vehicle maneuvers; evaluating systems; and conducting ten experiments.
Gemini VIII successfully docked with GATV-5003 six hours and thirty-four minutes after liftoff. Because of problems with the spacecraft control system, however, the crew was forced to undock after approximately thirty minutes. The docking and re-rendezvous secondary objectives of the mission were not achieved due to the shortened mission, and Gemini VIII landed on March 17, 1966, in a secondary landing area in the Pacific.