NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
28st May, 1959 : Two monkeys have become the first animals to travel in space and return alive. The Jupiter missile nose cone, in which they journeyed 1,700 miles and soared 360 miles above the Earth, was picked up from the Atlantic by the US Navy today. Able, a seven-pound rhesus monkey, and Baker, a one-pound squirrel monkey, were monitored from Earth to see how they responded to the stresses of space flight. Their performance at tasks in which they had been trained was also followed. Such tests are essential to the manned space flights for which the US Space Agency has already selected seven astronauts.