Do You Know? Animals That Have Been to Outer Space

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Long before humans ventured into outer space, it was these animals that were flown there first.


Albert was the first primate to be flown into space by the United States on June 1, 1948. This animal was flown on a V-2 rocket to a distance of 62 kilometers from Earth. The rocket enters the mesosphere in the Earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, Albert died of difficulty breathing.

After Albert, on September 20, 1951, the United States flew a monkey named Yorrick alias Albert VI. He managed to glide into space to a distance of 72 kilometers from Earth. The rocket carrying Yorrick managed to land safely, so Yorrick remained alive. However, two hours later Yorrick died.


Laika is a stray dog who lives on the streets of Moscow City, Soviet Union (now Russia). Initially, Laika was named Kudryavka, which means little curly one. The Laika was taken off the streets about a week before being flown into space. Laika became the first animal to be flown into Earth orbit. Earth’s orbit is the path in which the Earth orbits the Sun.

Unfortunately, just hours after Sputnik 2 launched, Laika breathed its last. It is thought that it died of panic and could not withstand the extremely hot temperatures while gliding into outer space.


Felicette was the first cat to ever go into space and return to Earth safely. Felicette is a stray cat who often roams the City of Paris, France.

In addition to Felicette, there are several other cats selected to conduct space experiments. Together they receive training similar to astronauts. This female cat was chosen because of her calm demeanor and her appropriate weight.

On October 18, 1963, Felicette launched a rocket called the Veronique AG1. Felicette is placed in a small capsule-shaped chamber. It flies up to more than 160 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.

At that height, Felicette could no longer feel the force of gravity. After 15 minutes of zero gravity, Felicette returns to Earth. The capsule carrying Felicette landed safely on Earth.

The deaths of Albert, Yorrick, and Laika were not in vain. They are space heroes. Because from there, experts get research data, until finally, they can fly humans into outer space until now.

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