Animals in space
I've briefly touched this in a reply to a different topic, but our furry friends deserve a topic of their own.
We are all familiar with poor Laika, a Russian stray dog to go into space, but he wasn't the first animal to go in space.
The first ones were fruit flies on board of a V-2 rocket.
A rhesus monkey was the first monkey to go in space, that was 2 years after the fruit flies, in 1949. He died on impact after the parachute failed.
In 1950, a mouse was sent in space. That one too died because the rocket disintegrated.
The Russians sent 2 dogs in space in 1951. They were the first ones to come back alive. (Gypsy and Dezik).
Since then, many animals have been set to space. Some have come back alive, but others were not that fortunate. We're talking about tortoises, rats, wasps, chimps, guinea pigs, hamsters, earth worms, various reptiles, cats, garden spiders, the list goes on and on. I don't know exactly how many animals have gone into space, but it wouldn't surprise me that more animals than humans have been there.
It's very unfortunate that several did not survive the space adventure. When it comes to astronauts, they make a choice, but animals don't have a choice in the matter.
Some fact.. Space programs from sever countries have flown animals into space. (Those seven were China, United States, France, Soviet Union, Argentina, Japan, and Iran).
Did you know.. Streika, one of the dogs that were sent into space and came back alive, gave later birth and had 6 puppies. One of Streika's puppy was given to President John F. Kennedy.
Even though Australia has not sent animals into space, some Australian spiders were sent on an American shuttle. (That was the Columbia shuttle in 2003). Not sure if I'd feel real comfortable with Australian spiders on board 🙂
33 cockroaches were born in 2007, and they were the first animals to have been conceived in space.
The turtles that were sent into space came back in one piece, but they had lost some weight.
The first spiders in space were Arabella and Anita, they were sent in 1973 on the skylab3 mission. The reason why they were sent into space was to see if they would be able to spin a web in the almost weightless environment. Both spiders died, but before they died, they had indeed spun a web.
The first monkey was sent to space in 1949.
There have been more animals in space than humans.
The way I heard it, the American astronauts hated that chimps preceded them into space. Alan Shepard especially; he felt that NASA engineers and scientists were being nervous ninnies and it cost him the chance to be the first human in space. He refused to ever be seen with an ape or monkey of any sort after that and it sort of ended with him snapping at ground controllers to "light this candle!"