First chimpanzee in space

First chimpanzee in space

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This image is part of the feature Animal Astronauts

Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: First chimpanzee in space. A male chimpanzee, 'Ham,' sitting within a Biopack Couch prior to his suborbital test flight. On January 31, 1961, a Mercury-Redstone rocket carrying the chimpanzee was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA. The rocket reached a peak of 254 kilometres above the Earth. During the flight, Ham had to pull a lever in response to a flashing light. After a 16.5 minute flight, the Mercury capsule landed and Ham was recovered alive. NASA launched several animals in test flights before launching the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard, on 5th May 1961. Image taken 1st January 1961.

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Keywords: 1900s, 1961, 20th century, adult, american, animal, animal astronaut, animal in space, biopack couch, caucasian, chimp, chimpanzee, fauna, ham, human, laboratory, male, man, many, marshall space flight center, mercury project, mercury-redstone rocket, mr-2, multiple, nasa, pan troglodytes, primate, researcher, scientist, sitting, spaceflight, suborbital test, test flight, united states, us, usa, white, wildlife

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