Yesterday marked the anniversary of Ham the Astrochimp's voyage into space. Ham was the first animal launched into outer space in the American Space Program. He blasted off from Cape Canaveral on January 31, 1961, and traveled 16.5 minutes (155 miles) before splashing down, safe and sound, into the Atlantic Ocean. His mission paved the way for Freedom 7, which carried Alan Shepard, the second person and first American in space.
To commemorate Ham's famous journey, Life.com released this slideshow of very captivating photographs documenting his life as an astronaut. The photographs, by Ralph Morse, were previously unpublished until their debut on Life.com last week.
I love Ham.
To see a larger slideshow and read the captions (It's worth it!), go here.
Read about my other favorite animal astronaut, here.
Happy Tiny Tues, all!