Biosatellite 3


Biosatellite 3
Biosatellite 3 satellite.
Mission typeBioscience
OperatorNASA / ARC
COSPAR ID1969-056A
SATCAT no.4000[1]
Mission duration8.8 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerGeneral Electric[2]
Launch mass1,546 kilograms (3,408 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date29 June 1969, 03:15:59 (1969-06-29UTC03:15:59Z) UTC[3]
RocketDelta N 539/D70
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17A
End of mission
Landing date7 July 1969 (1969-07-08)
Landing siteOahu, Hawaii, USA
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude221 kilometers (137 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude240 kilometers (150 mi)[4]
Period92 minutes[4]

Biosatellite 3, also known as abbreviated Biosat 3 and as Biosatellite D,[5] was a third and last artificial satellite unmanned U.S. belonging to Biosatellite program for biological research.

The intent had been to fly a 6 kg male Southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) named "Bonny" in Earth-orbit for 30 days. However, after only 8.8 days in orbit, the mission was terminated because of the subject's deteriorating health. High development costs were a strong incentive for maximising the scientific return from the mission. Because of this, the scientific goals had become exceedingly ambitious over time, and a great many measurements were conducted on the single research subject flown. Although the mission was highly successful from a technical standpoint, the science results were apparently compromised.[6] Bonny, dubbed an "astromonk" by the American press (as opposed to the chimpanzees from earlier American missions who were nicknamed "chimponauts") died on 8 July, one day after the biological capsule's successful recovery from the Pacific.[7]

Despite the seeming failure of the mission's scientific agenda, Biosatellite 3 was influential in shaping the life sciences flight experiment program, pointing to the need for centralised management, realistic goals and substantial pre-flight experiment verification testing. The mission objective was to investigate the effect of space flight on brain states, behavioural performance, cardiovascular status, fluid and electrolyte balance, and metabolic state.[4]


  • Determination of Bone Mineral Loss during Prolonged Weightlessness
  • Effects of Prolonged Space Flight on Brain Functions and Performance[4]

See also


  1. ^ BIOSAT 3. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  2. ^ Gunter Dirk Krebs Biosat 1, 2, 3 (Bios 1, 2, 3). Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  3. ^ Jonathan McDowell. Launch Log. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Mission information: Biosatellite III". NASA. Retrieved 25 May 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Antonín Vítek 1969-056A - Biosatellite 3. Katalog družic (in Czech). Retrieved 14 June 2018
  6. ^ Mark Wade Biosatellite 3. Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Astromonk Dies After Return", Pittsburgh Press, July 8, 1969, p1