ANDREWS AFB, Md.--"Ham," the first chimpanzee in the U.S. to be successfully launched into a?
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Background: ANDREWS AFB, Md.--"Ham," the first chimpanzee in the U.S. to be successfully launched into a sub-orbital arc down the Atlantic Missile Range, becomes a permanent resident at the National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., this week, it was announced jointly today by the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC), and the National Zoological Park of the Smithsonian Institution.
On January 31, 1961, Ham rocketed through space in front of an 83-foot Redstone rocket for a 16-minute ride which lofted him 155 miles high and 420 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The then 3-year, 8-month, 37-pound astrochimp experienced 4 1/2 minutes of weightlessness and a peak speed of 5,800 m.p.h. before landing successfully. Telemetry disclose that Ham reformed his tasks perfectly.
Ham's sub-orbital flight preceded the first U.S. - manned one by Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr., who, on May 5, 1961, piloted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Freedom 7 capsule 320 miles down the range at about 5,100 m.p.h.
Ham received the training for his epoch-making flight at AFSC's 657 1st Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Since then, he has been under observation at the Laboratory as a source of further data for U.S. man-in-space projects.
The chimponaut will be comfortably housed in a commodius 10' x 14' cage containing both interior and exterior compartments where he can be viewed by the many visitors who throng the Park each week.
Other famous simians who have been housed at the National Zoological Park were Pat and Mike, two Macaquetype monkeys who rocketed to a height of 37 miles inside an Aerobee rocket at Holloman AFB on May 21, 1952.
Formal transfer of Ham from Air Force jurisdiction to the National Zoological Park will take place at 2:00 P.M., Friday, April 5, in front of his cage. Colonel Neil G. MacEachern, D.V.M., Deputy for Veterinary Support/Bioastronauticss, Headquarters AFSC, will present Ham's transfer papers to Dr. L. Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, on behalf of the National Zoological Park.