YOU Gateway to Space - - Liftoff! -

Many an­i­mals were sent to space to see how it would af­fect liv­ing be­ings. Here are a few we won’t for­get . . . The US sent 32 mon­keys into space. Al­bert II was the first in 1949, but his craft crashed due to para­chute fail­ure. The first mon­keys to re­turn alive were Miss Able and Miss Baker, who went up to­gether. Baker lived to a ripe old age, but Able died four days af­ter land­ing dur­ing an op­er­a­tion to re­move an elec­trode. An­other fa­mous mon­key­naut was the chim­panzee Ham, who in 1961 went up in a Mer­cury cap­sule and re­turned safely.

The Sovi­ets sent up 12 dogs. The most fa­mous and tragic one was Laika, a lit­tle stray who in 1957 was the first liv­ing be­ing in or­bit but died from heat ex­haus­tion. Belka and Strelka were the first dogs to re­turn alive, while Veterok and Ugolyok or­bited 22 days be­fore land­ing safely. In 1963 the French launched a cat into space. Félicette made a safe land­ing when her cap­sule parachuted to Earth.

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