From the archive


50 Years Ago

With all the excitement and preparation at Cape Kennedy for the launch of Apollo 11, NASA’S biosatellite programme is easily overlooked. But soon after June 18, NASA will launch Biosatellite III carrying a 14 pound adolescent male pigtail monkey trained for the flight and implanted with apparatus at the University of California, Los Angeles … The monkey will certainly be heavily instrumented. Monitors will record wave patterns from ten areas of his brain, eye movements, heart action and respiration, take measurements at four sites in the circulatory system, record changes in bone and muscle and observe performance in two behavioural tests for which the monkey can earn two thirds of his daily rations … It is some indication of the rush to put man in space that the recordings of the monkey’s brain activity during weightlessness will be the first ever made by NASA.

100 Years Ago

The American seaplane N.C.4 has completed its flight to England, via the Azores and Portugal, and arrived at Plymouth at 1:26 p.m. G.M.T. last Saturday. The honour of the first Atlantic crossing by air thus falls to the Americans, though the yet greater honour of the first direct flight from continent to continent remains to be won. The feat accomplished by the N.C.4 clearly illustrates the advantage of the seaplane for long flights over the ocean, owing to its ability to alight on the water in any calm locality and carry out minor repairs, if necessary. Even in mid-Atlantic such an aircraft would have a fair chance to rectify some slight defect and proceed on its course, whereas an aeroplane is certain to be useless for further flight if forced to descend on the water.

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