This cradle secured Baker, a female squirrel monkey, in her biocapsule during the first flight to recover a primate from space. On May 28, 1959, an Army Ballistic Missile Agency Jupiter rocket at Cape Canaveral launched Baker and Able (a female rhesus monkey housed in a separate capsule) in its nose cone. Their biomedical condition was monitored throughout the flight as part of Department of Defense experiments to determine the effects of spaceflight on living animals. They reached an altitude of approximately 300 miles, a maximum speed of 10,000 mph, and were recovered alive some 1,500 miles downrange by U.S. Navy ships. The flight provided important biomedical data for the human spaceflight program. The cradle was built by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which transferred it to NASM in 1960.
Transferred by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency