1961: 57 years later of the celestial celebrations

Claire Chu, Online, CC Spin, PR/Communications Editor

As the morning began with the ever-so-rare super blue blood moon, a chimpanzee was sent into space 57 years ago.

On January 31, 1961, Ham the chimpanzee was sent into space by the United States and survived the journey. This plan was to test that a human could survive space flight with certainty. Ham had been trained by neuroscientist Joseph Brady at Hollerman Aerospace Medical (HAM – aka his name!) Center. Later, he lived at a zoo in Washington, D.C. for 17 years.

On this day, Ham launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida wearing a space suit. Ham’s landed in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by a rescue ship later that day. He suffered a bruised nose during the 16-minute-39-second flight.