Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Doctors examine Ham the chimpanzee after his Mercury space flight Feb. 1, 1961. Ham's name was an acronym for "Holloman Aero Med," the New Mexico base where he was kept. NASA said scientists used animals before astronauts to see it they could enter space and return to Earth unharmed.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Sailors on the USS Donner, which recovered Ham and his Mercury spacecraft in the Atlantic off Cape Canaveral, Fla., open his protective capsule after the flight, Feb. 1, 1961. Ham was launched on on a suborbital flight a Redstone rocket and returned in good shape.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Ham reaches for an apple. It was the first food the chimpanzee ate after a flight in a Mercury capsule launched by a Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Ham's spacecraft, on Jan. 31, 1961, reached an altitude of 157 miles and traveled 5,857 miles an hour. Ham was weightless for six minutes. Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, 1961.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Enos, a 5-year-old chimpanzee, reclines in the flight couch in which he was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. for the Mercury-Atlas 5 mission, Nov. 29, 1961. Enos was the first chimp to orbit Earth. Astronaut John Glenn followed on Feb. 20, 1962.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Three chimpanzees, Duane, Jim and Chu, strapped into their Mercury seats, Jan. 13, 1961. The chimps were among 75 being trained for space missions at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    The Mercury Atlas 5 rocket carrying the chimp Enos launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Nov. 29, 1961. After the mission, Enos was in good condition. NASA reported that despite technical problems, he and the spacecraft performed well.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    A monkey is fitted with an oxygen mask during a test at the U.S. Air Force Wright Air Development Center, near Dayton, Ohio, Jan. 20, 1956.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Enos the chimp is escorted by airman Michael Berman, left, and M/Sgt. Edward Dittmar on his return to Patrick Air Force Base after his space flight, Dec. 1, 1961, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Enos had been scheduled to circle Earth three times, but the flight was cut short after two orbits because of a malfunctioning thruster and electrical problems.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
  • Chimps in Space

    Kokomo Jr., a cousin of the space chimpanzee Ham, holds his nose after the flight of the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human being in space, April 12, 1961. Like their U.S. counterparts, Russian engineers used animals before humans to test their ability to enter space and return safely to Earth.
    Bettmann/CORBIS
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