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Datebook: November 29 – First Chimp Launched Into Earth Orbit 50 Years Ago

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Enos was the first chimpanzee that was launched into Earth orbit. He completed more than 1,250 hours of training for his mission at the University of Kentucky and Holloman Air Force Base. He flew into space on board Mercury Atlas 5 on November 29, 1961 and completed his first orbit in 1 hour and 28.5 minutes.  According to observers, upon his return Enos jumped for joy and ran around the deck of the recovery ship enthusiastically shaking the hands of his rescuers. Enos’s flight was a full dress rehearsal for the next Mercury launch on February 20, 1962, which would make Lt. Colonel John Glenn the first American to orbit the Earth, after astronauts Alan Shepard, Jr. and Gus Grissom’s successful suborbital space flights.

It’s Tuesday, November 29

Greater Paducah Sustainability needs 40 volunteers to hand out candy during the Christmas Parade. GPS also needs help decorating the float Saturday at 1:00pm. Register at

Murray State’s Clara M. Eagle Gallery has 3 exhibits opening Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. The BA/BS student exhibit reception is in the 7th Floor Gallery. An exhibit of Dale Leys’ drawing students titled Drawings from the Class of Reincarnation opens in the Curris Center Gallery, and an outdoor installation by John Utgaard – titled Carillon – opens on the green space between Old Fine Arts and Visual Arts.

Pennyroyal Arts Council’s Annual Holiday Tour of Homes is Sunday from 2 to 5 in the Great Oaks area. Advance Tickets are $10 at the L & N Depot downtown. $12 Tour Day Tickets are at each residence. Homes include those of Phil and Kitty Horn, Sands and Jennifer Chewing, Roger and Betty Holmes, all on Shallow Lake Circle, and Tom and Joyce Sholar on Greenleaf Court.

See details at Thanks for being here.