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Apes in Space
Everything's Better with Monkeys! Even space flights.

Historically, monkeys have been sent into space alone to investigate the biological effects of space travel, and fictional monkeys were going into fictional space ever since.

Many works take this even further and make monkeys full-fledged crewmates that travel into space along with humans (and might be the most competent persons on board).

Not to be mistaken with a Killer Space Monkey, which is a monkey that comes from space, though sometimes the two overlap when the monkey in question starts out as a Monkey In Space, and winds up returning to earth as a Killer Space Monkey.

Not related to Planet of the Apes. Remember: There was no planet of the apes. It was Earth.

Examples:

Film
  • This is the basic premise of the film Space Chimps.
  • In the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, the bipedal apes are descended from the crew of space monkeys that lands on the planet.
  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars. The protagonist is accompanied by one.
    • In a similar vein, Lt Robin Crusoe USN had Floyd the Space Chimp, an Ape In Space who was never found after he splashed down and was stuck on the island. Robin is saved by a helicopter in the end, but he makes them go back because he considers Floyd more important than him. When he gets back, he finds out everyone agrees with that.

Literature
  • In the original book of Forrest Gump, Forrest goes into space as part of a team that also includes a gorilla and a woman.
  • In the book Planet of the Apes, there was an ape which traveled with the astronauts to the eponymous planet. The regressed humans there killed it.
    • The spacefarers who picked up the Message in a Bottle from the human astronauts were in fact evolved apes.
  • Chimpanzees are one of the two species Uplifted to sentience by Humanity in David Brin's Uplift Series, and yes, they often wind up as starship crewmembers. Also, humans secretly Uplifted gorillas, too.
  • Space monkeys show up in Rendezvous with Rama.
  • The Moonbeam series of children's books, about a chimp who is caught and shipped to America to take part in the early days of the US space program.

Live-Action TV
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "The Wrong Stuff", Sam leaps into a prospective "chimp-onaut" named Bobo who risks being taken off the space program and used in a fatal helmet-testing experiment.

Music

Newspaper Comics

Tabletop Games
  • In Rocketmen the Mars faction are an entire race of green skinned space gorillas.

Video Games
  • In the supplementary material of Team Fortress 2, an ape named Poopy Joe is sent up into space (and because this is Team Fortress 2, it didn't end well for poor Poopy).
    • Later they added a game-mod where you fight to be the team that delivers a package to his rocket-ship before it crashes seconds after take-off.
  • Fallout 3 features pre-War ads for Captain Cosmos, "co-starring Jangles, the Moon Monkey!". Given what we are told about the show and how the ads look, Jangles appears to have been the sidekick of the titular space-traveller.
  • In Kirby Mass Attack, some gorilla-like enemies haul a next level-opening switch onto a spaceship and take off with it. To retrieve the switch, the Kirbys must infiltrate the apes' terrestrial headquarters, find their super secret spaceship blueprints, and assemble their own functioning starship. The advanced technology is remarkable considering it is all researched, planned, and built by some mooks who die in one and a half seconds of pounding.
  • nonPareil's Space Ape is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

Webcomics
  • Schlock Mercenary: Gorillas and Chimps have been uplifted and are full members of society. The protagonist mercenary company has several apes among their number.
  • Freefall mentions that chimpanzees have been uplifted, but none appear on screen (there weren't many of them and they were all sociopaths, so the project was canceled)

Western Animation
  • In the "Space Monkey" episode of Top Cat, the feline heroes help a monkey astronaut by sending his rocket into his home Africa.
  • The Johnny Bravo episode "Bravo 13" sees Johnny blunder into a space mission along with a chimpanzee partner, who, naturally, subsequently is the only competent person on board.
  • On Planet Sheen, Sheen befriends Nesmith, a chimp stranded on Zeenu after his ship crashed.
  • One episode of The Tick was a Flowers for Algernon Syndrome plot focused on a chimpanzee who became super-intelligent after blasting into space.
  • Kim Possible has the episode "Monkey Ninjas in Space", where we have NASA monkeys, ninja monkeys and monkey-human hybrids who want to Take Over the World from space due to some inaccurate prophecy.
  • The Simpsons: Their monkey(s) came back super-intelligent, but NASA is pulling strings so the general public doesn't find out. Partly because one of the heads of NASA is one of these monkeys.
  • The version of Titano from Superman: The Animated Series was one of these, based to the Silver Age comic version minus the Kryptonite vision.
  • Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys is about a test chimp who fell through a space rift and got uplifted by aliens, who then gave him a starship and abducted a few other apes and monkeys to serve as his crew.
  • In an episode of Dial M For Monkey, Monkey battles Simion, supposedly the first monkey in space, who became highly intelligent after an accident during his mission exposed him to radiation.
  • Boris, the Russian space chimp, from the Brandy & Mr. Whiskers episode "To the Moon Whiskers".
  • Space Ghost has Blip the monkey.
  • Robot Chicken has a sketch centered around this trope, complete with a backing track.
  • In the Family Guy episode "E. Peterbus Unum", Chris is the head of Petoria's space program. When he fails to (literally) reach the moon, he mutters "They should really get monkeys to do this."

Real Life
Humans Are IndexedPrimate IndexCymbal Banging Monkey
Ancient AstronautsTropes in SpaceArbitrary Maximum Range
Ambiguous GenderImageSource/Comic StripsCutting Corners

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