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Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Day Ham Went To Space

 

Ham was a famous chimp that was born in July of 1957 and went to space January 31st , 1961. As part of the U.S. space program known as Project Mercury he was the astrochimp trained at the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center in New Mexico. As you can see the chimps name was taken directly from initials of the training center and maybe even more than that the commander in charge Colonial Hamilton Blackshear



Hamm was captured and taken to a wildlife facility in Florida. He was one of nearly 50 candidates that were checked and tested to see which would be the hardest worker. The training took place starting in 1959 and at that time HAMM was 2 years old. Thus this was primary first prior to Alan Shepard trip on May 5, 1961

On January 31, 1961 Ham was placed in a space ship and sent on a mission from Cape Canaveral Florida On the trip the chimps vital signs would be monitored as he partook in tasks that were monitored by sensors and computers on Earth. Along the trip minor default would occur but no harm would come to Ham and his ability to perform the actions demonstrated that tasks could be performed in space. Ham suffered a bruised nose during splash down but the space trip that lasted just abit over 16 minutes was not only the first but the trip that would set the example for more to come. 



Ham would go to live at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on April 5, 1963. There he would live til 1980 when he would go to live with other chimps in the North Carolina zoo. He would only live for 3 years at this new home before his death that occurred in 1983. After his death further studies were done before he was buried at the International space Hall of Fame in New Mexico. However, his bones are kept elsewhere in the Museum of Health and Medicine. 


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