In 1966, NASA sent astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong (yes, that Neil Armstrong) on a mission called Gemini 8. Their objective: complete the first ever space docking by joining with a previously launched unmanned craft called the Agena.
Delta 7 Studios
This is either a rendering of the docking sequence or space pornography.
The mission went swimmingly. Six hours after launch, Scott and Armstrong had successfully docked with Agena, and everything was going good.
That is, until the death roll started.
The Near Disaster:
After 27 minutes of post-docking relaxation, Scott happened to glance out of the window and noticed that everything was spinning. A software glitch had caused Agena's thruster rockets to malfunction, and they were firing away like a drunk cowboy. Unimpressed by this potentially life-threatening problem, Armstrong calmly balanced Gemini's own thrusters to stop the roll until he could turn off Agena's.
Armstrong, seen here smiling at his old friend Certain Fiery Death.
This fixed the problem ... for a few seconds. The roll quickly started again, more furiously than ever. Realizing that their spacecraft was in danger of breaking apart, Armstrong quickly undocked and moved away from the troublemaking Agena. Yet somehow, the spinning only increased.
Shit like this happens in space travel every once in a while, and it's usually fixed with a quick "Houston, we have a problem." However, Gemini 8 was temporarily out of radio contact at the time, which prevented the control center from telling them the plot twist: It was the Gemini's thruster that was malfunctioning all along.
"Our best estimate is that you are between 95 percent and completely fucked."