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Page last updated at 08:27 GMT, Monday, 31 January 2011

Chimps in space: 50 years on


50 years ago today NASA sent the first chimpanzee into space. Ham the "astrochimp" returned to earth safely after a flight lasting just over 16 minutes.

It was a crucial moment in attempts by the US to catch up with the Soviets in the space race.

Anu Ojha from the National Space Centre in Leicester explains the history of animals in space.

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