Ham The Chimp

Ham (July 1956 – January 19, 1983), also known as Ham the Chimp and Ham the Astrochimp, was a chimpanzee and the first hominid launched into space, on 31 January 1961, as part of America's space program.

Ham's name is an acronym for the lab which prepared him for his historic mission — the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

On January 31, 1961, Ham was secured in a Project Mercury mission labeled MR-2 and launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a suborbital flight.

Ham had his vital signs and tasks monitored using computers on Earth.

The capsule suffered a partial loss of pressure during the flight, but Ham's space suit prevented him from suffering any harm.

Ham's lever-pushing performance in space was only a fraction of a second slower than on Earth, demonstrating that tasks could be performed in space.

Ham's capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered by a rescue ship later that day.

He only suffered a bruised nose. His flight was 16 minutes and 39 seconds long.

After the flight, Ham lived for 17 years in the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.