Launch of Mercury-Redstone 2 on Jan. 21, 1961. Statistics of the flight include: Altitude: 108 miles; Speed: 13,000 mph.; and Recovered 1,425 miles downrange. NASA Image.

Chimpanzee Ham during preflight activity.

Image obtained from NASA


Mission Information:

Ham was carried into space aboard MERCURY-REDSTONE 2. The purpose of this suborbital flight was to test the operational capabilities of the MERCURY capsule's systems in a space environment. Ham survived the mission safely, paving the way for the May 5, 1961 suborbital flight of astronaut Alan B. Shepard.

Closeup of the Mercury spacecraft showing Ham in his special "biopack" couch prior to liftoff. NASA Image.

Ham being fed an apple after the Mercury-Redstone 2 test flight. Note he is still strapped into his special flight couch. NASA Image.