ABLE & BAKER

Monkeys Able and Baker became the first creatures to survive spaceflight after their 1959 flight.

On May 28, 1959, aboard Jupiter IRBM AM-18, were a 7-pound American-born rhesus monkey, Able, and an 11 ounce (310 g) squirrel monkey from Peru, Baker. The monkeys rode in the nose cone of the missile to an altitude of 360 miles (579 km) and a distance of 1,700 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

They withstood forces 38 times the normal pull of gravity and were weightless for about 9 minutes. A top speed of 10,000 mph  was reached during their 16 minute flight. The monkeys survived the flight in good condition. Able died four days after the flight from a reaction to anesthesia, while undergoing surgery to remove an infected medical electrode.

Baker lived until November 29, 1984, at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

WCIP does not condone the use of animal testing - but we honor these furry voyagers who paved the way for mankinds exploits in deep space.