A Redstone missile carrying a dummy Man-in-Space capsule was launched successfully March 24th in a test of the rocket's readiness to hurl a man aloft.
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Background: A Redstone missile carrying a dummy Man-in-Space capsule was launched successfully March 24th in a test of the rocket's readiness to hurl a man aloft.
This film, shot in advance of the launch, shows the preparations. The main purpose of the test was to prove correction made in the Redstone as a result of the difficulties which developed when Ham, the Space Chimp, was sent on a brief trip Jan 31st.
Ham's capsule was programmed to reach an altitude of 115 miles and land 290 miles away - following approximately the same 15 minute course planned for the first manned launching.
But failure of an engine thrust regulator - a throttle like device - caused an overshoot. The capsule hurtled 156 miles high and landed 414 miles down range, subjecting the passenger to higher stresses and complicating recovery operations.
Ham was retrieved in excellent condition. But the National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided to launch another Redstone March 24 to check reliability before risking a human life on a rocket.