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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Little Joe 2
Sam, the rhesus monkey flown aboard Little Joe 2
Mission typeAbort test
Mission duration11 minutes, 6 seconds
Distance travelled312 kilometres (194 mi)
Apogee85 kilometres (53 mi)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeMercury boilerplate
ManufacturerMcDonnell Aircraft
Launch mass1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateDecember 4, 1959, 16:20 (1959-12-04UTC16:20Z) UTC
RocketLittle Joe
Launch siteWallops LA-1
End of mission
Landing dateDecember 4, 1959, 16:31 (1959-12-04UTC16:32Z) UTC

The Little Joe 2 was a test of the Mercury space capsule, carrying the rhesus monkey Sam (Macaca mulatta) close to the edge of space. He was sent to test the space equipment and the adverse effects of space on humans.

The flight was launched December 4, 1959, at 11:15 a.m. ET from Wallops Island, Virginia, United States. Little Joe 2 flew to an altitude of 55 miles (88 km). It was recovered with the monkey intact and alive in the Atlantic Ocean by the USS Borie. Sam was one of a series of monkeys in space. Sam, from the School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, received his name as an acronym of the facility. Sam experienced up to 12Gs and three minutes of weightlessness.[1] The flight time was 11 minutes, 6 seconds, with a payload of 1,007 kg.

The boilerplate Mercury spacecraft used in the Little Joe 2 mission is currently displayed at Airpower Park and Museum, Hampton, Virginia.[2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Little Joe 2 BP-22 Successful Failure
  • 🟦 Little Joe II Failure - Apollo Abort Succeed
  • "Little Joe: Mercury's First Steps"


See also


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ Berger, Eric (1 December 2019). "That time a monkey flew to the edge of space and then smashed into a destroyer". Ars Technica. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Mercury Little Joe 2 spacecraft display page on A Field Guide to American Spacecraft website".
This page was last edited on 13 September 2023, at 22:37
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