On January 31, 1961, America sent a chimpanzee on a space journey, marking a significant event in history.

On the date of January 31, 1961, history was made when a chimpanzee named Ham embarked on a space mission initiated by the United States, aiming to investigate the impacts of space travel on living organisms. Ham, recognized as the second most intelligent being following humans, was born in 1957 in the jungles of Cameroon and later transported to the United States. Captured initially, he found himself at Miami Rare Bird Farm in Florida. Subsequently, in 1959, Ham underwent training for the space journey at an American Air Force base.Successfully reaching space 16 minutes and 30 seconds into the flight, Ham encountered some capsule damage due to pressure. However, his space suit effectively shielded him from harm. Upon reentry, Ham’s capsule landed approximately 130 kilometers off the Atlantic Ocean. A rescue ship reached him within a few hours, and despite the unexpected deviation, he emerged unharmed. Photographers captured his joyful expression as he was extracted from the capsule.Post his return from space, Ham was housed in the National Zoo in Washington in 1963, later finding a home in a zoo in North Carolina. His passing occurred on January 19, 1983. The venture of sending Ham into space proved to be a successful experiment, laying the groundwork for subsequent human space exploration.

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