March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
On May 28, 1959, a U.S. Jupiter missile carried this reentry capsule and its payload of two live chimpanzees, Able and Baker, to an altitude of 300 miles (483 kilometers). The capsule travelled nearly 2000 miles (3220 km) downrange at a maximum speed of 2000 mph (3220 kph). Able and Baker were recovered safely at the end of the flight, proving that life could be sustained in a weightless environment. The capsule was transferred to the Smithsonian by the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency in 1960.
Transferred from the United States Army Ballistic Missile Agency.