The Air Force Space and Missile History Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station currently is featuring an exhibit on Space Monkey toys, which is, as most of their temporary exhibits are, very well done and thorough. While launching monkeys into space paved the way for human spaceflight, it is well worth remembering a lot of these early pioneers were lost in accidents, especially in flight by the rocket blowing up, or subjected to intentional harm to gauge the limits of endurance during testing of some aspect of spaceflight parameters. With that said, this is a fun exhibit that brings back a lot of memories of the early days of spaceflight.
A little statuette with a Bill Dana “Jose Jiminez” type message on it coming from a thoughtful looking monkey posing with what looks like a Mercury capsule.
The monkey toy at left featuring Apollo Program illustrations on its packaging is mechanical and walks with the aid of the suitcases. At right is Curious George. It’s to be expected that he would eventually go into space.
The monkey at left is decked out for what looks like an early Space Shuttle mission.
Hard to photograph in the prevailing exhibit lighting was this Monkey Jungle postcard.
This was not on display in the History Center but nearby in the Port Canaveral Exploration Tower space exhibit and seemed appropriate to include here. It is a banana pellet used to reward space monkeys during their training and flights. I’m just as curious about how it tastes.