Able and Baker: The First Primates to Survive Spaceflight in Photos

In 1959, the U.S. needed a Cold War win and the country was eyeing spaceflight. And so a pair of mismatched monkeys found themselves bundled up and placed in a Jupiter missile. Dubbed Able and Baker, they became the first primates to survive spaceflight during a suborbital predawn flight on May 28, 1959.

Their survival made them instant celebrities, although spaceflight was not the most dramatic part of their stories. To announce their successful flight, NASA unveiled Able and Baker to journalists in the same room where just a month prior they had introduced the Mercury 7 as the country’s first human astronaut candidates.

Here, Baker, who was a squirrel monkey, poses with a model of the Jupiter rocket she and Able flew.

Full story: Two Female Monkeys Went to Space 60 Years Ago. One Became the Poster Child for Astronaut Masculinity


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