USA 1961 Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2)

Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2), launched on January 31, 1961 from Cape Canaveral, was a suborbital space flight that carried the first chimpanzee, HAM, into outer space. The space flight lasted about 17 minutes. HAM's name is an acronym for the lab that prepared him for his historic mission — the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center. HAM was 3 years 8 months old at launch, and died on January 19, 1983, at the age 26. He was one of many animals in space.

MR-2 launch Port Canaveral postmark.

MR-2 launch PAFB postmark.

HAM was recovered by a helicopter at 2:42pm and was brought to the U.S.S. Donner. However the ship's post office was closed on that day, so Rich Hoffner (who produced this cover) sent 63 covers to the secondary recovery ship U.S.S. Warrington to be postmarked for the Mercury-Redstone 2 recovery.