History of American Spaceflight

Ham, also known as Ham the Chimp, was the first higher primate launched into outer space on January 31, 1961. Ham is shown on the deck of the rescue ship after his capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on January 31. Ham's journey started when he was secured in a Project Mercury capsule labeled MR-2 and launched from Cape Canaveral, Forida. This was the first suborbital flight, an animal experiment, carrying a chimpanzee to an altitude of 155 miles, with a parachute splashdown 420 miles down range. Ham, shown in a special biopack counch, was recovered in good condition. (AP Photo)

July 28, 2012 3:43 pm  • 

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com