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Biocapsule, Primate

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This object is on display in the Apollo to the Moon exhibition at the National Mall building.

Summary

Manufacturer: U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Redstone Arsenal

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Overall: 1 ft. 6 in. wide x 3 ft. 5 in. deep, 400 lb. (45.7 x 104.1cm, 181.4kg)

Materials: Components: Plastic Overall - Aluminum Wiring - Copper, Steel

This biocapsule carried Able, a female rhesus monkey, 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 Able and Baker (a female squirrel 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 capsule was built by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which transferred it to NASM in 1960.

Transferred from U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency

Inventory number: A19600217000

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