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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of June 6, 1959

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Space Flight Succeeds — Two little monkeys, one clad in a space suit and the other lying in a special capsule with her knees drawn up under her, were blasted 300 miles into space on Thursday, May 28, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has revealed. Drama of the experiment was heightened as U.S. Navy frogmen successfully snatched the missile nose cone from shark-infested waters in the Atlantic Ocean. This makes the animals the first monkeys known to have been shot into space and successfully retrieved.… The monkey experiment helps pave the way for “Mr. Mercury,” one of the seven men to be chosen by NASA to ride the first manned space capsule in orbit.… Earth-bound scientists were able to study the effects of noise, acceleration, deceleration, vibration, rotation and weightlessness upon the two little monkey pioneers as they zoomed into space, then whistled back at 10,000 miles an hour to their Atlantic landing point.

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