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Mission or Study ID:   Biosatellite III
American Biosatellite Program/Scout
Thor Delta
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
9 days

The American Biosatellite program culminated in the June 28, 1969 launch of Biosatellite III. The intent had been to fly a pig-tailed monkey in Earth-orbit for 30 days. However, after only 8.8 days in orbit, the mission was terminated because of the subject's deteriorating health. High development costs were a strong incentive for maximizing the scientific return from the mission. Because of this, the scientific goals had become exceedingly ambitious over time, and a great many measurements were conducted on the single research subject flown. Although the mission was highly successful from a technical standpoint, the science results were apparently compromised. Despite the seeming failure of the mission's scientific agenda, Biosatellite III has been enormously influential in shaping the life sciences flight experiment program, pointing to the need for centralized management, realistic goals and substantial preflight experiment verification testing. The mission objective was to investigate the effect of space flight on brain states, behavioral performance, cardiovascular status, fluid and electrolyte balance, and metabolic state. A single male pig-tailed monkey (Macaca nemestrina) named Bonnie, weighing 6 kg, served as the experimental subject on the mission.

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