A chimpanzee launched into space by NASA in January 1961. The sub-orbital flight, launched with a Redstone rocket, tested the Mercury spacecraft. Problems on the flight included a leaking valve causing a severe drop in the capsule's pressure, and the launch escape system firing and inadvertently carrying the rocket to a much higher altitude than planned. Ham splashed down 209 km off target and survived in good health after being weightless in space for nearly seven minutes. He performed well, pulling levers for banana-pellet rewards and receiving electric shocks on the soles of his feet if he failed.
http://www.solarviews.com/eng/history.htm A history of space exploration, incorporating lists of historical publications, chronologies, and summaries of past, current, and future missions.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.