Project Gemini was NASA’s second human spaceflight program. On March 23, 1965, the aircraft carrier Intrepid recovered the first manned flight of the two-person Gemini capsule. Helicopters from Intrepid picked up astronauts John Young and Virgil “Gus” Grissom and their space capsule. Young and Grissom underwent a medical examination and debriefing after arriving aboard Intrepid.
Consuming alcohol was—and remains—prohibited on board U.S. Navy vessels, with a few exceptions. Intrepid’s medical department had a supply of alcohol for medicinal use. The ship’s medical personnel issued Gus Grissom a prescription for spiritus frumenti—whiskey—following his orbital flight. A hospital corpsman saved the prescription as a souvenir and later donated it to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.