During the Space Race between the USSR and the U.S., the goal was to see who could achieve superior spaceflight capability first.
This was a significant feat that would show which country had the best science, technology, and economic system in the world.
Its origin stemmed from the nuclear arms race between both nations following World War II. The outcomes of the Space Race included launching artificial satellites, sending probes to the Moon,
Venus, and Mars, and having humans in suborbital space and lunar missions. Part of the Space Race for the U.S. was Project Mercury, their first man-in-space program and was from 1958 to 1963.
The program’s objectives were to have a manned spacecraft orbit the Earth, find out how humans function in space and recover both man and spacecraft safely.
Project Mercury included uncrewed space missions whose goal was to understand how a human would perform during a human-crewed mission. Ham, the chimpanzee, was part of one of these test missions.
10 /10 Ham's Mission Test
Ham was part of a Project Mercury mission called MR-2 that launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Ham was monitored on Earth through sensors and computers that examined his vital signs and tasks.
The capsules allowed him to breathe, even if the cabin pressure in the spacecraft failed.
9 /10 Ham's Completion Of His Mission
While the capsule went through a partial loss of pressure during the test flight,
Ham’s suit helped prevent him from being hurt.
Additionally, he successfully pressed the lever in space only a fraction of a second slower than Earth. This showed that tasks could be successfully done in space.