Little Joe 2

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Little Joe 2
Launch of the Little Joe 2 (1959).jpg
Little Joe 2 launch
Mission type Abort test
Operator NASA
Mission duration 11 minutes, 6 seconds
Distance travelled 312 kilometres (194 mi)
Apogee 85 kilometres (53 mi)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Mercury boilerplate
Manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft
Launch mass 1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date December 4, 1959, 16:20 (1959-12-04UTC16:20Z) UTC
Rocket Little Joe
Launch site Wallops LA-1
End of mission
Landing date December 4, 1959, 16:31 (1959-12-04UTC16:32Z) UTC

Mercury insignia.png


Project Mercury
Abort Tests
← Little Joe 1A Little Joe 1B

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.

Sam, the Rhesus monkey flown aboard Little Joe 2

The flight was launched December 4, 1959, at 11:15 a.m. ET from Wallops Island, Virginia, United States. Little Joe 2 flew 55 miles (88 km) into space. It was recovered, with the monkey intact, in the Atlantic Ocean by 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. 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.[1]

References[edit]

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

See also[edit]