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A monkey from the missionary jungle, weighing one and a half kilos and his name was Juan, became the “first Argentine astronaut” in December 1969 when he was sent into space.
A monkey from the missionary jungle , weighing one and a half kilograms and his name was John , became in December 1969 the " first Argentine astronaut "was sent into space five months after man's arrival on the moon.
“The flight of the monkey Juan takes place in a context where Argentina had its space agency, which at the time was called the National Commission of Investigations Spatiales (which today is the Conae ) and which had an intense program of work, including the development of vectors and the development of rockets,” said Diego Bagu , director of the Planetarium of the City of Silver .
On December 23, 1969, at 6.30, the Canopus II sounding rocket was successfully propelled with the monkey John as a crew member on an eight-minute suborbital flight (did not enter orbit), up to a height of about 90 km, bordering the Earth's atmosphere with outer space.
It was launched from the Missile Launch and Experimentation Center
Self-propelled Chamical, in La Rioja .
After the trip, the monkey Juan lived for more than two years in the zoo of the city of Cordoba .
The experience was carried out by a team of Argentine engineers, biologists and physicians , with technologies developed in the country, within the framework of a project called Experiencia BIO, headed by the National Institute of Aeronautical and Space Medicine and the National Space Research Commission .
The BIO project, “in charge of the aeronautical engineer Aldo Zeoli , considered one of the parents of Argentine astronautics , proposed as its main objective the experimentation of living beings in rocket launches and, if you could reach space, much better,” said Bagu.
“The first living being tested with a rocket was Belisario , a laboratory rat, an April '67 experience that was successful,” he said.
He said that “the rocket reached almost three kilometers high, much less than reaching space (100 kilometers) but allowed to experiment with living things above rockets and especially the acceleration produced by these launches.”
“The point is that Belisario endured it and continued to live several years after that experiment,” said Bagu .
In this line he stressed that “with the experience of Belisario, Argentina became the fourth country in the history of the world to experiment with living things in rocket launches after the United States, Soviet Union and France.”
Publication Date: 16/08/2019
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