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Space Animals

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

I wish I was talking about some cute cartoon show but no. I’m talking of all the animals who were sacrificed in the name of “exploring space”. I cannot express just How much this entire thing angers me. So here’s presenting to you a timeline of sorts of all the animals that were sent to space. Spoiler Alert: almost no one survived.

(This is a collection that goes from least heartbreaking story to the worst, and NOT chronologically)

Fruit Flies

In 1947, these were the first animals to be sent into space.This was to investigate the impact cosmic radiation would have on humans. Why fruit flies? Their genetic structure is very similar to humans.


1970 was when the first significant frog launch occurred where they sent two bullfrogs into space. The Orbiting Frog Olotith spacecraft returned safely with the frogs who, in space, quickly became accustomed to their surroundings.


In 1973 (after the first man landed on the moon) scientists wanted to investigate the impact of microgravity on animals. Hence Anita and Arabella were sent to space to weave webs (not as great as the ones on earth but nevertheless, webs) and they did. They weaved aplenty and both returned home safe.


These aquanauts were sent to space in 1973 for the same purpose as the spiders. These fish ended up spinning in circles due to the conditions up there.


In 1968, two tortoises were sent up to space to orbit the moon.The Russians wanted to be able to send a man to the moon, so they sent these first. The capsule was supposed to land on the moon but it didn’t, however they orbited for 6 days after which they reached earth safe and sound having lost a couple of pounds.


One day, in 1950, a mouse was sent to space. No, it did not return. It died when the rocket disintegrated on descent. What’s new? Apparently killing mice is the best way to conduct research


In 1963, the French sent Felicette to space. Thankfully she returned safely after reaching a height of 160km from the Earth’s surface.


They’ve managed to send so many breeds of monkeys into space. So many.

1948 - Albert 1 went to space but suffocated during the flight.

1949 - Albert 2 survived the flight, but died upon impact.

1949 - Albert 3 died in an explosion in space (at this point they should start naming the monkeys something else)

1949 - Albert 4 died due to parachute failure

1951 - Albert 5 - parachute failure

1951 - Albert 6 survived the landing but died 2 hours later due to suspected overheating

3 more monkeys - Able, Goliath, Bonny died in the following years. Sam, Miss Sam, Ham, Enos and Baker were others who survived.


The Soviet sent around 20 dogs to space. And they had the audacity to lie about the results. Animal rights were a joke in the 1950s. “Fly me to the moon” must be an act that is done voluntarily.

1951 - First dogs ever Dezik and Tsygan went up 110 km and returned unharmed.

1951 - Dezik and Lisa died due to parachute failure.

1951 - Malyshka and ZIB - survived (but were actually replacements for two other dogs who had the good sense to run away before launch)

1954 - Lisa 2 and Ryzhik and Albina and Tsyganka on two separate missions, all safely recovered.

1957 - Laika. Suicide Mission. They were sending her to die out there. Alone. She was supposed to survive 10 days of her flight and then die painlessly in 15 seconds due to oxygen running out. Instead she ended up dying in 5 to 7 hours due to overheating and was panicking throughout. Even after her death The Soviet Union kept lying that she survived and made false documents until they finally admitted what had really happened. She died up there, all alone, because of no fault of her own.

1960 - Belka and Strelka survived and went on to have many puppies and grandpuppies.

1960 - Pchyolka and Mushka went to space. During re-entry , the craft had to be destroyed intentionally leading to their deaths due to an error.

1961 - Chernenko and Zvyozdocha went on two separate missions both returning alive.

1966 - Spacedogs Veterok and Ugolyok were launched and they both returned alive. They also set the record for having the longest flight as spacedogs.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for listening to my rant. Don’t treat animals like this. Please don’t. Just because they can’t speak doesn’t give any of us the right to do whatever we like to them. Please don’t hurt them.



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