Monday, May 28, 2007

On This Day

By Princessa

In order to "test the waters" before sending a human astronaut into space, scientists at Cape Canaveral, Florida, launched female monkeys Able and Baker 300 miles into space. The monkeys flew more than 1,500 miles (2,413km) in the nose-cone of Jupiter missile AM-18, which reached the speed of 10,000 mph (16,090kmh). The flight lasted 15 minutes, and Able and Baker were recovered from the launch in the South Atlantic near Puerto Rico, in "perfect condition." The two were carefully monitored during the flight (pulse, temperature, breathing, etc.), especially during their nine minutes of weightlessness. Little was known at the time about the effects of space travel on the body, so the safe recovery of the primates was considered a "green light" for further research.

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