Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paying My Respects to Miss Baker

If you spend much time on this blog (and I know that not too many people do), you're familiar with this image of a monkey with a rocket, the "album cover" for the Scrambies: Ideas Worth Ignoring Podcasts. I found out this weekend that the space monkey pictured is one Miss Baker. Miss Baker and her counterpart Able (the monkeys were named after the first two letters in the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet) were the first two monkeys (and the first two Americans) to survive a trip into outer space. Able died in June 1959, days after returning to earth. But Miss Baker lived until 1984. She is buried, next to her husband Big George, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This weekend, the kids and I made a trip to the Space & Rocket Center. While the purpose of our visit was not to pay our respects to Miss Baker but to take in the "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit, I'm glad that we had the opportunity to visit the grave of this pioneering squirrel monkey.


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