This exerpt from NASA's History of Research in Space Biology and Biodynamics, Part I, which discusses the beginnings of research in space biology at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico, from 1946 to 1952. Some of that research involved joint operations with White Sands Missile Range, also in southern New Mexico. The Aero Medical Field Laboratory at Holloman was under the direction of the Aeromedical Laboratory at Wright Field, Ohio.
The objective of the Aero Medical Laboratory's animal experiements at White Sands was clearly stated by ... David G. Simons, then a captain at the Wright Field establishment, who was the project engineer until after the second V-2 lauanching of the series:
"Today there is no place on the earth's surface more than 40 hours travel from any other place so the question of the feasibility of travel beyond the reaches of the atmosphere inevitably arises. But what are the problems of space flight in a rocket? By theorizing, the various possible dangers and limiting factors can be appraised and the appropriate means of protection against each surmised. However, only by performing the experiment can one prove or disprove the validity of the hypothesis, learn better ways of protecting against known hazards and realize for the first time, the existence of unsuspected dangers. Only the recovery of a live animal showing no demonstrable ill effects will permit the claim that no major difficulty has been overlooked."
Captain Simons, who had been a spaceflight enthusiast since childhood, implicitly revealed in this statement his ambition to rocket through space some day himself.
[Simons came very close to spaceflight when he piloted the Manhigh II balloon flight in 1957.]