crocheted rocketry a while back. Now there is more early NASA awesomeness - this time the Redstone and Atlas rockets used for the Mercury launches - the first manned launches in the US. The Redstones managed to heave the Mercury capsules into sub-orbital flights (Shepard and Grissom) and the Atlas managed orbital flights for all the remaining men of the 7 chosen as astronauts except for Slayton who was grounded for health reasons.
The also sent up chimps. Supposedly because they could be trained to perform some tasks in the capsule and thus give an idea about action and function during spaceflight, but I rather like the theory that it was just because someone at NASA hated chimps.