After his ride in the Little Joe 2 Spacecraft, Sam the Monkey is safely aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer.
The history of space exploration is rich with photos from NASA that detail the history of space travel, breakthrough propulsion systems, groundbreaking astronauts and missions, and robotic exploration. Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight, from the early days of the space race through the space shuttle era, from the years of the first rockets and satellites to the test-flight era that preceded human spaceflight, and of course beyond.
Deployed from the hovering helicopter, the U.S. Navy frogmen make contact with the astronaut waiting inside.
Astronaut John Glenn dresses in his silver Mercury pressure suit preparing for his first orbit around Earth.
While it was never an official NASA program, FLATs helped pave the way for the first female Shuttle pilot.
A camera system is set up in the dynamic test chamber at Goddard Space Flight Center where thorough testing in a simulated space environment is the practice.
The flight crew for the X-15 which was developed to provide data on aerodynamics, structures, flight controls and the physiological aspects of high speed, high altitude flight.