NASA's Project Gemini, the precursor to the Apollo missions that brought man to the moon, began 50 years ago. While perhaps not as prestigious as the space flights that followed, Gemini missions accomplished a number of firsts, including the first American spacewalk and the highest-ever manned orbit. To celebrate this milestone, The Atlantic published a number of fantastic photos from all phases of the Gemini project. Most striking are the photos captured from orbit, which really speak for themselves. The shots of the Earth from miles above and the images of the astronauts in space help you remember just how incredible of an accomplishment Project Gemini was, even without the cachet of a moon landing.