Mercury Redstone chimpanzee flight couch

Discussion in 'Space & Aeronautics' started by gpw, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. gpw

    gpw Member

    Here is my first self-designed model, a chimpanzee flight couch which was used in 1961 for the first Mercury Redstone flight with a living being: Ham the Chimpanzee. Since I couldn´t find any sources with exact sizes I ‘designed’ the model just by using photos.


    Mercury Redstone 2 (MR-2) was a rocket mission, launched at 16:55 UTC on January 31, 1961 from LC-5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mercury spacecraft no 5 carried Ham the chimp as a passenger on a suborbital space flight launched on Redstone MRLV-2.

    The Mercury-Redstone 2 flight tested the rocket and capsule, as well as the ability to work in space and return safely to Earth. Once the rocket and capsule design features selected for the Mercury missions were performing reliably, a chimpanzee named Ham was chosen from a colony of six "astrochimps" to test the environmental control systems inside the Mercury capsule. Researchers sent chimpanzees into space because chimps' organ and skeletal structures are similar to ours, and chimps can be trained.

    Ham was 3 years 8 months old at launch. After his spaceflight he retired to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for 17 years and then in 1981 was moved to a zoo in North Carolina to live with a colony of other chimps. He died on January 19, 1983, at the age 25.

    The display photo shows the flight couch, a Delta7 Mercury capsule and Ton Notebooms Mercury capsule with escape tower.Actually the model sheets are in word format. I tried to change it to pdf format to make it public here (using free pdf), but I was not successful. Can someone support me ?






  2. George B

    George B Senior Member


    This is your FIRST design? :eek: Beautiful work!!!!!!!
  3. jaeike

    jaeike Member


    You did that in Word??? That IS amazing! :thumb:
  4. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member


    AWESOME work, and excellent photo post. I'm definitely building this one if it goes public.

    I'm sure this group is aware of the HAM and Enos story. If not, Guenter Wendt goes into graphic detail about poor little Enos' flight from He** in his book "Unbroken Chain". Those little monkeys really put up with a lot of misery for our space program.

    I've never PDF'd anything, but I'll try to do it for you if you send me the Word Files. I have Acrobat 7. I'll send you a PM with my e-mail. Jon Leslie might be willing to post it on his Lower Hudson site if you'd be willing to share it.
  5. mvink

    mvink Member


    I can convert your files also. I've been doing the pdf's for Carl's instruction sets. You can PM me the files if you wish or send them to me at

  6. tglenchur

    tglenchur Member

    Output Chimpanzee Flight Couch to PDF by PDF Creator

    Try PDF Creator
    PDFCreator |

    Anything you can send to a printer from Windows can be turned into a PDF or a bunch of other formats. It's great for sending information that otherwise requires a specific program to read a particular file. And it is open source that means that you can get the program without out being tied to a particular computer platform. This particular program is cost-free as well.

    Alternatively you can produce PDFs from the Open Office Suite: Home.

    There is no charge for using this program suite either. Enjoy.
  7. tglenchur

    tglenchur Member

    P.S. Here's another link for its download. Source Forge is one of the main depots for Open Source programs. PDFCreator
  8. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member


    I sent the PDF File back to you via E-mail. Let me know if it came out to your satisfaction, or if we need to improve it.

    Good Luck,
  9. jparenti

    jparenti Member

    Wow!! That's amazing! I'm glads someone thought to include a model that salutes all the "original" astronauts that just happened not to be human. :mrgreen:
    Can't wait to build it.
  10. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    What a great design! Can I post it on my website? Last week I took several hundred photos of Ham's capsule. I'll pick out a dozen or so good ones and post them on my site. I was also compairing Ham's instrument panel (SC5) to Shepards (SC7). Ill post the panel or a note of the differences for anyone interested.

    Great Job! You have done your part in "keeping the dream alive"

  11. TexasTubaMan

    TexasTubaMan Member

    Very nice work. But why do you need to convert it to a pdf? Most folks probably have word, or a reader that reads work, just post the word document. From experience with converting some graphics before, the pdf has less resolution when printed than the original file. By posting the word document, most would be able to print at better resolution.

  12. gpw

    gpw Member

    Thank you all for your comments, especially for your support to convert the file in pdf format :-D.

    As I explained in some pm´s the word file is actually a version without part numbers and without instruction. I will hurry up to add the part numbers but for an instruction I need a little time. I would like to make a photo instruction which means to built the model a second time. After finishing the part sheets I will think about publishing in word too.

  13. gpw

    gpw Member


    would be a plaesure to see the pictures on your website.
  14. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    They are there! Look in the gallery at the bottom. I didn't post many but if someone is dong a build and needs anything else, let me know. I'll share whatever I have. It's just hard to post that many photos all at once. I'll come up with a better way one day...I also have Adobe and can help with any file conversions. When you are ready, I'll gladly put a link on my paper model page for the couch. I can host whatever files you want hosted and I'll credit you anyway you like. if gpw wants more photos, e-mail me.

  15. gpw

    gpw Member


    I saw your pictures of Ham´s capsule on your webside. They are very good and quite interesting for me.

    The photos show that the flight version of the couch has a number of plugs on the cover, the couch window is wider and the inside of the cover seems to be a little bit different to my design. The closing of the cover is different too.

    All this will force me to include those differences as options to my kit. I´m now very interested in more photos especially if you have some which are showing the mentioned details. I am also interested in the backside of the chimp couch. It would be great if you could deliver more photos.

  16. Mercsim

    Mercsim Member

    I put a few more photos up for you at full resolution. It took a while but I got the best ones I had for you. I also included a photo of a couch at the Kansas Cosmosphere. Its pretty good and I posted the full size one so you can really zoom in if you want. I'm due to go there in a few weeks and I should be able to get you some better photos. Will you send me your word files so I can check it out? I would be interested in scaling or something to get to 1/4 scale, for obvious reasons. I won't post them until you are finished or ready to post them. I'll also get you some dimensions while I'm at the Cosmosphere.

  17. gpw

    gpw Member

    After making a revision of the model sheets and an instruction the chimpanzee flight couch v1 is now available free at

    I want to say thanks to Mike and Steve for the 'pdf support' (now I managed to do it myself) and to Scott for the photos (the will end in a second version later, before I have to build something else). Many thanks to J. Leslie for hosting the model. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

  18. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Hi Gerd and All,

    Congratulations on your first project. It really looks great over on Mr. Leslie's wonderful site.

    As for helping out, I'm just glad I could finally do something constructive around here. This project gave me a chance to learn how to create PDF files. It was really fun.
  19. londonbluemisty

    londonbluemisty Wayne P

    Brilliant first project Gerd!!!:mrgreen:
    Yet another fantastic model to add to my collection of Real Space paper models.
    When I get chance to build it!!!(it will have to join my queue of builds)

  20. gpw

    gpw Member

    The chimpanzee flight couch is now available free at

    and thanks to Scott also at

    Chimp Couch

    Scott has included a direct link to the NASA report on the chimp flights. Very interesting.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Enjoy the model. :yep:


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