The Use of Chimpanzees in the Mercury Capsule Testing Process
Grades: 6 - 12

Video Description: Learn directly from NASA engineers and see NASA footage of the time as they describe the use of chimpanzees in testing for the Mercury missions.

Type of Video: Segment*
Unique Video ID: Space-20**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video in conjunction with a journal prompt or conversation starter question dealing with animal rights. Watch the video and then ask students about their reaction to the use of chimpanzees in this way. Based on their thinking regarding animal rights today, would they support or oppose using chimpanzees for testing. Why or why not?
  • Have students share their responses with each other and/or the class.

To learn more about the technology available at the beginning of the space race with three NASA Mercury Program engineers, check out the full program this segment is edited from:  History in the First Person: Building the Mercury Capsule.


*Segment videos are short excerpts edited from interviews or interactive programs that offer flexible and differentiated ways to use the rich content included in the full-length conversation.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.