Wikipedia’s article on the Mercury-Atlas 5 mission is… just read on:

Mercury-Atlas 5 was an American unmanned spaceflight of the Mercury program. It was launched on November 29, 1961 with Enos the Chimp, a chimpanzee, aboard.

Clearly the words “the chimp” were not enough to describe Enos’s species, so Wikipedians have adroitly modified “chimp” with “chimpanzee.”

I’m sure everyone reading, from Bozo the Clown, a clown, to Pope Benedict, the pope, sees the value here.

Actually, I’d venture that this article was written by a chimpanzee, only chimps wouldn’t have written this badly.

Speaking of writing badly…

By November 1961, the Soviets had launched two men into orbit and the United States still had not orbited a chimp.

This is either the dumbest sentence ever written, or the most brilliant. And completely true – there is no recorded evidence showing that the U.S. has ever orbited a chimp.

The U.S. orbiting a chimp
This has never happened.

In tribute to the unparalleled stupidity of this concept, I will henceforth use the U.S. orbiting a chimp as my new measuring stick on how far we’ve come as a society. For example:

“It’s hard to believe Paris Hilton can record a CD with such a clear artistic vision, while the United States still has not orbited a chimp.”

“Un-f***ing-believable! Pudding remains one of the world’s most reliable dessert treats, and the United States still has not orbited a chimp! F***!”

“For the love of – Wikipedians have finally cured cancer by declaring it non-notable, and yet the United States still has not orbited a chimp.”

All I know here is that there is a Chimp Orbit Race to win here, people! And we must win it – do we want Europe to orbit a chimp before us? Or China? Do we?

But why, some say, orbit a chimp? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to orbit a chimp. We choose to orbit a chimp in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

One day a country will win the Chimp Orbit Race – I just pray it will be our country, and that I will live to see it.