Thursday, August 08, 2002

Ham, the first American in space, was born free in Africa in 1956. Stolen from his mother, he was trained using electric shocks and launched on a rocket when he was only 4 years old. Two years later, when he had outgrown his usefulness to NASA, Ham was sent to the National Zoo. After living for many years alone in a cage, he died in 1983. As in life, in death he has become an object of human curiosity and amusement.

ASTROCHIMP HAM'S FINAL RESTING PLACE

Museum of the Medical Macabre Edges Into the Mainstream
By ALICIA AULT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 — Over its 140 years, the National Museum of Health and Medicine has been a destination for amateur Civil War historians, medical researchers and tourists with a penchant for the macabre....

Some specimens — like President Dwight D. Eisenhower's gallstones and the skeleton of Ham, the first chimpanzee in space — are in back offices....

[Photo] Paul Sledzik, curator of the anatomical collections, shows the bones of Ham, the first chimpanzee in space.