On Mar. 21, 1962 a B-58 Hustler from the U.S. Air Force erupted in flames as a large, bright red capsule shot out of it, carrying a passenger to safety.


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Most were fine, if a bit loopy, when they landed.

There was one fatality among the animals during testing. One bear had a brain condition that wasn't detected prior to the flight and the physical strain during the ejection killed the animal. Two other bears suffered minor fractures and bruising during their flights.

Unfortunately, the Air Force needed to be sure that there were no hidden injuries before they returned to human subjects and ordered autopsies, which resulted in the deaths of the animals that had otherwise survived testing.

See the video below:

Today, advanced crash test dummies are used in the testing of military hardware.

h/t Cracked.com and i09.com.