Ham The Astrochimp & National Hero
To accomplish the impossible, sometimes a humanoid must undergo previously inconceivable trials. For a chimp named Ham, that meant skyrocketing into space in 1961 before returning to Earth a national hero. Ham followed a long line of rodents, monkeys, dogs, even fruit flies that the United States and Russia used as test subjects to ascertain the effects of space travel.
Obviously, today PETA would throw a historic tantrum over such animal testing but in the ‘60s the Space Race against the Soviet Union took precedence. NASA proudly commemorates Ham and other animals, “They gave their lives and/or their service in the name of technological advancement, paving the way for humanity’s many forays into space.”