Tuesday, January 31, 1961: First hominid in space

A chimpanzee named Ham is launched aboard a Redstone-Mercury 2 rocket, rising to 157 miles above the Earth during a 16-and-a-half minute flight while reaching a speed of 5,587 miles per hour. (The flight was longer, higher and faster than intended because of technical problems.) The capsule returns Ham safely, though more than 100 miles off-target.

* Summary (from California Science Center): @
* NASA report: @
* "The Nearest Thing" (Time magazine, February 10): @
* "A Happy End for Ham's First Flight": (Life magazine, February 10): @
* "Trailblazer in Space" (newsreel): @
* Photos (from NASA Life Sciences Data Archive): @

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