This excerpt is from Animal Astronauts: They Opened the Way to the Stars (Prentice-Hall, 1963). It describes an episode at the Mercury Program's chimpanzee training facility at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogoro, New Mexico.

Part of our chimp training program involved flying chimps in C-131 transports to get them used to flying. The pilots of these aircraft, of course, became rather knowledgeable about the whole program. Upon returning from these flights they call the control tower and advise, "I have a VIP aboard." Normally VIP means Very Important Person, but in this instance it meant Very Important Primate.

One day when taxiing in from a flight, one of the pilots decided to shake things up on the flight line. He put one of the more friendly chimps up in the co-pilot's seat and just as he moved onto the ramp toward the parking space the pilot ducked down. Now, always when an aircraft moves into the parking ramp there is a ground crewman giving signals, telling the pilot exactly where to park, easing him into the proper wheel chock position. The ground crewman concentrates on the position of the aircraft as it moves slowly into this position and does not look at the  pilot until a moment before the aircraft stops. You can imagine the expression on the ground crewman's face when he looked up and saw only the nonchalant chimpanzee staring back at him from the cockpit....

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This excerpt is from a CNN report:

When temporary no-fly zones appear above US rocket launch sites, airlines end up paying huge fuel costs to fly around them, while passengers have to spend more of their precious time in the air.
In fact, a new study by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University calculates that all the extra fuel required to avoid restricted airspace during rocket launches costs airlines cumulatively between $10,000 and $30,000 per liftoff.

One launch can create a ripple affecting thousands of airline passengers. Last February's SpaceX launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket delayed 563 airline flights resulting in 62 extra miles added to flights across the southeastern United States, according to a report by the Air Line Pilots Association. Each flight was delayed an average of eight minutes.

Elon Musk just launched our earthshaking new adventure
All this "results in planes sitting on the ground, longer routes, more fuel burn and longer flying times for passengers," said a written statement by A4A, an industry group that represents most major US airlines.

Note by NMSpaceHistory.com: Launch trajectory airspace at Spaceport America in New Mexico is always restricted because it is adjacent to White Sands Missile Range.
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New Mexico's
Space Voices Archives

New Mexico's Space Voices Archives
2019 Voices entries will be archived here each month.

2019 Voices entries will be archived here each month.
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This excerpt is from Animal Astronauts: They Opened the Way to the Stars (Prentice-Hall, 1963). It describes an episode at the Mercury Program's chimpanzee training facility at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogoro, New Mexico.

Part of our chimp training program involved flying chimps in C-131 transports to get them used to flying. The pilots of these aircraft, of course, became rather knowledgeable about the whole program. Upon returning from these flights they call the control tower and advise, "I have a VIP aboard." Normally VIP means Very Important Person, but in this instance it meant Very Important Primate.

One day when taxiing in from a flight, one of the pilots decided to shake things up on the flight line. He put one of the more friendly chimps up in the co-pilot's seat and just as he moved onto the ramp toward the parking space the pilot ducked down. Now, always when an aircraft moves into the parking ramp there is a ground crewman giving signals, telling the pilot exactly where to park, easing him into the proper wheel chock position. The ground crewman concentrates on the position of the aircraft as it moves slowly into this position and does not look at the  pilot until a moment before the aircraft stops. You can imagine the expression on the ground crewman's face when he looked up and saw only the nonchalant chimpanzee staring back at him from the cockpit....

---
This excerpt is from a CNN report:

When temporary no-fly zones appear above US rocket launch sites, airlines end up paying huge fuel costs to fly around them, while passengers have to spend more of their precious time in the air.
In fact, a new study by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University calculates that all the extra fuel required to avoid restricted airspace during rocket launches costs airlines cumulatively between $10,000 and $30,000 per liftoff.

One launch can create a ripple affecting thousands of airline passengers. Last February's SpaceX launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket delayed 563 airline flights resulting in 62 extra miles added to flights across the southeastern United States, according to a report by the Air Line Pilots Association. Each flight was delayed an average of eight minutes.

Elon Musk just launched our earthshaking new adventure
All this "results in planes sitting on the ground, longer routes, more fuel burn and longer flying times for passengers," said a written statement by A4A, an industry group that represents most major US airlines.

Note by NMSpaceHistory.com: Launch trajectory airspace at Spaceport America in New Mexico is always restricted because it is adjacent to White Sands Missile Range.

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Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.
Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2018.