National Geographic : 1961 May
Ham the Chimpanzee Rides a Rocket Into the Unknown Grinning chimp lies laced in his space couch. Its molded contours and restraining har ness protect him from the bru tal stresses of blast-off and re entry. The couch's lid contains the levers Ham must work as a test of his reactions in space. Lid fastened, Ham's coffin-shaped cradle is thrust into the Mercury capsule atop a 60-foot Redstone. Headsets permit gantry men to talk with ground crews. The chimp's pressurized container has a plastic window through which a camera mounted in the capsule filmed Ham's facial expressions (below). Bared teeth greet extra g's that multiply Ham's weight 17 times, contorting his mouth.