Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Space Chimp Lives!

Enos hamming it up the day after his return to Earth
Enos was the first primate to orbit earth.  He was acquired by NASA from the Miami Rare Bird Farm on April 3, 1960 and, after more than 1,250 hours of training at the University of Kentucky and Holloman Air Force Base, he was sent into space to orbit twice around the earth, a voyage that took 1 hour and 28.5 minutes from start to finish.

Enos's flight was the Mercury space mission just before John Glenn orbited the earth on February 20, 1962.

Enos did not last long after his celebrated flight, dying on November 4, 1962 from dysentery caused by antibiotic-resistant shigellosis.  At least he came back down to earth.  Laika, the fox terrier, the Soviet Union's first animal put into orbit, died in space.


Karen Carroll said...

My father-in-law was working at NASA in the 60's as an ironworker. My husband tells me this story about the space chimp, likely Enos. My father in law saw this after the landing. The chimp arrived alive from space. The scientists tried in vain to place the chimp back in the capsule after landing for a photo op. NO WAY could any human(s) put the chimp back the capsule after the space flight.

Rick said...

The fiberglass shells for these space capsules were fabricated in a body shop in San Antonio, by Harry Brown. He also had a stained glass studio next door where my brother worked. There's still at least one of the six on view at a air museum at the former Brooks AFB.