Little Joe 2
Little Joe 2 launch
|Mission type||Abort test|
|Mission duration||11 minutes, 6 seconds|
|Distance travelled||312 kilometres (194 mi)|
|Apogee||85 kilometres (53 mi)|
|Spacecraft type||Mercury boilerplate|
|Launch mass||1,007 kilograms (2,220 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 4, 1959, 16:20UTC|
|Launch site||Wallops LA-1|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||December 4, 1959, 16:31UTC|
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, 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.