The Race for Space

Page 7 of 8 

 

Animal Pilots 

October 23, 1963 

Sam, a rhesus monkey, was encased in a model of Mercury fiberglass contour couch for a flight on the Little Joe 2 rocket. An elaborate set of physiological instruments monitored the biological impact of space flight on Sam and NASA engineers extrapolated this data to predict how human beings might cope with this new environment.

While physiological stress was easy to record, the psychological impact of weightlessness and reentry were unknown.