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First chimpanzee in space

First chimpanzee in space

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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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