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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

February 1, 1961: Chimp and Spy Satellite in Space

"CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Jan. 31 -- A male chimpanzee nicknamed "Ham" was rocketed 420 miles over the Caribbean today in a test of the Mercury capsule that is scheduled to carry a human astronaut into orbit," the New York Times reported on this day in 1961. "The thirty-seven pound ape was in good condition when a helicopter pulled the capsule from the water almost three hours after the launching."

"POINT ARGUELLO, Calif., Jan 31 -- The United States fired a Samos reconnaissance satellite into polar orbit today. The vehicle, an experimental version called Samos II, is designed to perform photographic missions once done by U-2 aircraft," the New York Times reported today. "Samos II is not a full-fledged substitute for the U-2, but within two years the United States plans to have a network of such satellites photographing parts of the globe."

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