Space-bound chimp “thrilled” about launch

Google reached some kind of agreement with the old Life magazine image archive. When I thought about Life, I remembered the coverage they used to give to the space program. I searched for “Mercury” and found our first seven astronauts in their magnificent and somewhat ridiculous silvery suits. Look at those boots! Honest to God, it looks like they’re about to go trick-or-treating. Either that or they’re headed to a fetish-themed club.

The search I did also turned up pictures of our REAL first astronaut: Ham the Astro-Chimp. They might call him Ham the Ham… check out this picture. LIFE: “Ham” mugging after Mercury space flight.. That’s an astronaut who’s not taking himself too seriously. Here’s a little more of the scene. I love the old-school NASA van in the background. It makes me want to put on some Juan García Esquivel music.

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