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Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2).
Category. Statistic.
Launch vehicle. Mercury-Redstone MRLV MR-2.
Launch date. January 31, 1961, 16:55 UTC.
Launch site. Cape Canaveral LC-5.
Ceased operations. January 31, 1961, 17:12 UTC.
Owner(s). NASA.
Major contractor(s).  McDonnell Aircraft.
Is it still in orbit. No. Ham survived his landing. The now semi-detached beryllium heat-shield had bounced against the capsule bottom on impact, punching two holes in the titanium pressure bulkhead and the landing bag had worn badly, leading to the partial submerging of spacecraft before recovery by the USS Donner.
Launch mass. 1,203 kilograms (2,652 lb).
Nationality(s). American.
Satellite type. Primate survival test flight.
Links. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_2, http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4201/cover.htm , http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/SpacecraftQuery.jsp  and http://aesp.nasa.okstate.edu/fieldguide/pages/mercury/merc_mr-2.html.

This proved the USA could train apes in rudimentary space fight skills and that primates could survive a short trip (16 minutes, 39 seconds) in a space capsule. The USSR had become very concerned over how the U.S. pulled ahead in the space race at this point, so they sped up there own named program, which was near it's launch date anyhow.

Ham Launch - GPN-2000-001007

Launch of Mercury-Redstone 2.

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