Famous Primates

Miss Baker

Lady Pioneer

Miss Baker and fellow female pioneer Able's historic flight on May 28, 1959 proved a turning point in the US space era. The first beings ever to be recovered alive from a flight into outer space, their journey paved the way for putting the first man into orbit around the earth.

Miss Baker and Able's journey gripped the world's imagination. Appearing on the June 15, 1959 cover of Life magazine the pair joined a growing list of women celebrities to grace the magazine's cover in 1959, a list which included Marilyn Monroe, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Jackie Kennedy.

Miss Baker, the original lady astronaut.

The Mission

Miss Baker's flight was another milestone in the history of space flight, proving that life could be sustained in space. During the period of weightlessness along the flight's trajectory arc, the physiological responses of Baker approached normal. According to telemetry data, Baker even appeared to doze or become drowsy. Upon reentry, however, the responses of both monkeys rose again, with the animals nearing a settled physiological state at landing.

Never send a man to do a female monkeys job.


Jupiter AM-18

The Jupiter IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) was originally developed by the US Army as a long-range successor to its PGM-11 Redstone missile, but was eventually taken over and deployed by the USAF for political reasons. It was also the only one of the United States' early stategic ballistic missiles with some mobility.

The Journey

Miss Baker's journey lasted 15 minutes and reached speeds of up to 10,000 MPH. Baker and Able were weightless for nine minutes. A NASA spokesperson stated that the monkeys were in "perfect condition" on their return to earth. Indeed Miss Baker went on to live a long and fruitful life, living until 1984.


  1. Pioneering Efforts in Space
  2. BBC - Monkeys Survive Space Mission
  3. One Small Step

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