Top 10 Animals Sent Into Space

As it was not possible to send human astronauts in the beginning. Therefore scientist decided to send animal astronauts for spac...

6 years ago
Top 10 Animals Sent Into Space

As it was not possible to send human astronauts in the beginning. Therefore scientist decided to send animal astronauts for space investigation and its studies. 

Unfortunately, we have sacrificed the lives of many creatures of Earth in these missions. Animals have played a significant role for NASA, USSR and many other space agencies throughout the world. It had been a boon to send animals into space so that they can study later. Therefore animals became the first one leaving behind the humans. These creatures came into the limelight of many speculators throughout the world.

Some species were retrieved back on earth and some can never see Earth again. Here is the list of animals sent into space:

1) Dog

The first species sent in space was Laika by the USSR on a space flight. Laika became the first animal to rotate in the orbit. Though it is a stray dog of Moscow, it was preferred over rest of the million species of the Earth. The Soviet spacecraft was launched on  3rd November 1957. The dog died on the same day itself while returning in the lower orbit. 

Laika belongs to Mongrel breed and was a female dog with five kg weight. She died due to overheating, one of the causes of failure of the central R-7 sustainer. The Soviet government built a monument in the memory of Laika in Moscow.

2) Spiders

It is the most unwanted creature of the Earth. But it has been part of many space projects. There are a variety of its species. But mostly golden orb is selected. Two golden orb spiders were sent to international space stations. These spiders were named, Gladys and Esmerelda. This species is known for web spun. Every night they destroy their web and next morning they start construction of new web. Therefore golden orb was sent in space.

They adapted themselves in micro gravity. As soon as news spread that scientists are researching on spiders. Therefore, people started studying about spiders. They spin in three dimensions but it was observed that they built circular webs in space.

Soon this tiny creature became a celebrity for every individual.

3) Water Bears

Near about 3000 water bears were sent into space by the European Space Agency Foton-M3. These creatures were able to adjust themselves in vacuums of space.

Water bears can survive in any weather condition be it hot or cold. When the conditions seem to be harmful under these circumstances they stop their biological activities and can remain live without water and food for several years. Thus scientist thought it could be useful for them to test on them.

4) Nematodes

Nematodes have also been sent into space many times. They were the one to be sent to the moon in Apollo 16 Mission. The nematodes were even present in space shuttle of Columbia in 2003. All humans died when shuttle returned back to earth except nematodes. In spite of the same condition, they managed to survive in the worst.

Since then nematodes have been a subject of experiments in space. The species illustrated that the effects on their bodies such as muscle deterioration and diabetic symptoms were similar to humans.

5) Amphibians

This species can live both in water and on land. Thus to know the environmental conditions in space, scientist planned to send amphibians in space. As a result, a dozen of tods, frog, newts were sent in space.

Pictures of Minotaur V rocket was sent into space where it was caught in the fire. Frog and other organisms are sent into the space to test microgravity.

6) Monkey

The monkey was sent by many nations such as Argentina, France, Russia in their space flights. Before sending a human , the experiment was done on monkeys. During the investigation, many of them died and never return back to Earth. Some died due to suffocation and other in the deadly atmosphere.

The first monkey sent in space was Albert II, a rhesus. Many other species of monkey such as squirrel monkeys, macaques, and rhesus were sent into the space.

7) Chimpanzees

Human beings have been evolved from this creature. A scientist trained the first chimpanzee, Ham, to be sent in space. He did a good performance in the space shuttle and came back alive. He was trained in such a way that if he does a correctly he was given a banana otherwise an electric shock. Hams test Flight took off on 31st January 1961 from the cape, Canaveral. Ham suffered a lot during the flight but he survived all the odds.

Later on, Ham was followed by Enos, who was sent in twice in planets orbit. It was a victory for the unit but he died 11 months later due to dysentery.

8) Fish

Japanese agency tried to experiment with fish. They established an aquarium in the space shuttle. But it was not a good idea to study because they did not do well in space. Normally fish travel in the streamlined path, but it was observed moving in circular motion as in loops. The first fish they sent was Medaka. As they are transparent and can breathe fast.

The main aim of the scientist was to know about bone degradation and effects of radiations and biological development. They invested fish for three months and collected some information which could help them to give accurate results for human health.

9) Rodents

Many experiments have been done on different species of rodents in the history. Mice, rats, hamsters and Guiena pigs have all been sent in space.

The biomedical engineer Ted Bateman used rodents to test osteoprotegerin. He thought this protein will prevent bone loss. This Protein worked well and because of these reasons, rodents were sent into space to carry out different experiments.

Jeffrey Albert also tried to study rodents to zero gravity conditions. He experimented on pregnant rats and effect of space in offspring. The aging is another element in space and rodents were the best to study about space aging process. 

Rats in space are also known as Rat-Stronauts.

10) Cats

Cats became the part of space study at the end in comparison to other species. The first cat named Felix was sent into space on October 18, 1963, by the French scientist. This is the only cat sent in space till today. In the first attempt Felix was recovered but in subsequent flight, it died.

After France, Iran tried to study about cats in space after 50 years later. Iran stated that they will launch a Persian cat in early days of 2014.


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