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Astronauts of another kind

July 14, 2012

Animals like dogs, monkeys, rats, flies and frogs are actually the true pioneers of the final frontier. Let’s find out more about them:

Able: On May 28, 1959, rhesus monkey, Able, and squirrel monkey, Baker, were launched 300 miles up aboard an American Jupiter missile.

Baker: Able’s travel companion, Baker, stayed in the biopack pouch during her flight. After returning to Earth, she lived to the ripe old age of 27, dying in 1984.

Otvazhnaya, Snezhinka and Marfusha: In July 1959, Otvazhnaya and Snezhinka, two dogs, went into space with Marfusha, or “Little Martha”, a rabbit. Otvazhnaya went on to become an experienced flier, making five flights in all.

Miss Sam: This rhesus monkey, Miss Sam was a leading test monkey for NASA. She helped test an escape mechanism for astronauts if they ran into problems during launch.

Ham: NASA made Ham the first chimpanzee in space. Despite flying 42 miles higher and 1,500 miles per hour faster than intended, Ham performed well, experiencing only dehydration and slight fatigue.

Felix: In October 1963, France sent the first cat into space aboard its Véronique rocket. — Compiled by The Surfer