On January 31, 1961, a Mercury-Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral carried a chimpanzee named Ham, aka Ham the Astrochimp, on a journey to become the first great ape in outer space. As you can see in the photoset, Ham was fitted with bio-censors and fastened into a “flight couch,” a biopack placed inside the space capsule. But Ham wasn’t just a passenger.
Unlike previous simian spacemen, Ham was trained to perform a lever-pulling task in response to a flashing blue light. (Training involved rewards of banana and the “positive punishment” of mild electric shocks. More on that later.) Like any good mission specialist, Ham bravely did his job, all while racing 640 kilometers down range in an arching trajectory that reached a peak of 254 kilometers above the Earth.
This humble primate, born in the wilds of Cameroon, didn’t set out to beat both Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard in the race to space. But when history came calling, he stepped up. After splashdown in the Atlantic, Ham the Space Hero was lavished with love and apples….(more)
On January 31, 1961, a brave 3-year-old chimpanzee was strapped into a capsule inside the Mercury Redstone rocket and launched 160 miles above the earth. For 16 minutes, he orbited at a speed of 5857 mph before crashing down into the Atlantic Ocean, a little dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Daily Caller, Giuseppe reports: A Russian rocket carrying the the country’s most-expensive, state-of-the-art communications satellite exploded minutes after takeoff and before reaching space on Friday.
Russian state media reports the Proton-M rocket took off Baikonur, Kazakhstan and, after ascending about 100 miles, veered off course and disintegrated in the atmosphere some nine minutes into flight when the Russian Federal Space Agency lost contact.
The failed rocket took an Express-AM4P European-built communications satellite valued around $28 million along with it.
RT covered the launch live.
“The exact cause is hard to establish immediately, we will be studying the telemetry. Preliminary information points to an emergency pressure drop in a steering engine of the third stage of the rocket,” Russian Federal Space Agency Chief Oleg Ostapenko said. Read the rest of this entry »
April 25, 2014 at 16 hours 13 minutes Moscow time successfully re-docked cargo vehicle Progress M-21M at the International Space Station (ISS).
Space station cargo craft completes test of automated rendezvous system
Rendezvous and docking with the station were carried out in automatic mode under control specialists Mission Control Center. During the rendezvous and docking operation audited rendezvous “Course-by” on the vehicle cargo ship Progress M-21M. TGC Progress M-21M docked to the instrument compartment of the service module Zvezda, where he went to the autonomous flight two days ago.
Progress space cargo approaching the docking port of the service module Zvezda on ISS Read the rest of this entry »