Gemini 7 was the fourth crewed Earth-orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini series, having been launched before Gemini 6A. It carried astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell on the 14 day mission. Its mission priorities were (1) to demonstrate a 2-week flight, (2) to perform stationkeeping with the Gemini launch vehicle stage 2, (3) to evaluate the 'shirt sleeve' environment and the lightweight pressure suit, (4) to act as a rendezvous target for Gemini 6, and (5) to demonstrate controlled reentry close to the target landing point. The crew members had three scientific, four technological, four spacecraft, and eight medical experiments to perform.
Gemini 7 was launched from Complex 19 at 2:30:03 p.m. (2:30:03.702 UT) on 4 December 1965 and inserted into a 161.6 x 328.2 km orbit at 2:36:11. Immediately after separation Gemini 7 began stationkeeping operations with the Titan II second stage at distances from 6 meters to 80 km over a period of 17 minutes. On the third revolution the perigee was raised to 230 km to ensure an orbital lifetime of 15 days. On 6 December, 45 hours into the mission, Lovell removed his spacesuit to evaluate the shirtsleeve environment. The first five days were spent conducting experiments and spacecraft tests. On 9 December the orbit was circularized to 299.7 x 303.7 to prepare for the rendezvous exercise with Gemini 6A. On 10 December 140 hours into the mission Lovell put his suit back on and Borman removed his. Some 20 hours later Lovell removed his suit as well and both astronauts operated without suits for the remainder of the mission except for the rendezvous with Gemini 6A and reentry.