A pig in a rocket. What could possibly go wrong?


Early sketch reveals plan to punt a porker skywards.


Probably not a lot of fun: a sketch showing a plan to send a pig above the atmosphere in 1960.

Probably not a lot of fun: a sketch showing a plan to send a pig above the atmosphere in 1960.

NASA

Little Joe was the name of a booster rocket designed by NASA in the early days of space travel research. The solid-fuelled device was used for eight launches between 1959 and 1960.

The series was a key element in the development of larger, more powerful rockets that would, with the Apollo series, eventually carry humans to the moon. At one point, however, the researchers at NASA contemplated using a Little Joe as the vehicle to launch the first pig into space, as this pen and ink conceptual drawing shows.

Luckily for the pig, the idea was eventually nixed.

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