Flashback
A Century of Photos
October 2007


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A Look At The Past
They're fun. They're quirky. And they're full of surprises. Now more than a century of adventures and photographic memories from the magazine's archive are just a click away.

 
October 2007
October Flashback
Photograph by Henry Burroughs, AP Images
THE PRIMATE DIRECTIVE

He weighed nearly 40 pounds—on Earth. But in January 1961, for six and a half minutes during a 16-minute flight aboard the Mercury-Redstone 2 rocket, Ham the chimpanzee was weightless. NASA scientists used the chimp's flight to study life-support systems for the human astronauts they'd soon send into space: Sensors monitored Ham's vital signs while computers tracked his execution of simple tasks. He passed all flying tests with flying colors. "A bruised nose," noted the May 1961 Geographic article where this photo of the chimp's return appeared, "was Ham's only injury."

—Margaret G. Zackowitz

 
 
 
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