Animals In Space
Did you know that humans weren't the first living ones to go up in space?
Some amazing animals went up first. Here is some information about
monkeys and dogs in space.
The Russian Dogs
Laika, Russian for "barker," was the first animal, and the first dog to go up
in space. She was launched on November 3rd, 1957, in a capsule called
Sputnik II. Unfortunately, Laika died in space because there was not
enough oxygen left in the space capsule. Poland, Romania, and Albania made
stamps for this brave dog.
Belka, Russian for "squirrel," and Strelka, Russian for "little arrow," were
launched on August 19th, 1960, on Sputnik V. They were joined by 40 mice,
two rats, and a lot of plants. The two dogs arrived home safely, and Strelka
had six healthy puppies. One of them was given to President Kennedy for a
Chernushka, Russian for "blackie," was launched on March 9th, 1961, for
only one orbit on Sputnik IX. Chernushka was joined by one guinea pig,
some mice, and a dummy cosmonaut. Chernushka arrived home safely and was
very glad to return to Earth.
Zvezdochka, Russian for "little star," was launched on Sputnik X, on March
25th, 1961, joined by a dummy cosmonaut. This was the final rehearsal for
Vostork I. The Russians did a lot of groundwork with animals in space.
Ham, an American chimpanzee, went into space in Mercury Redstone II.
The reason for Ham's journey was to experiment for Alan B.Shepard's
launching on May 5th 1961.
Enos, Hebrew for "man," was bought by NASA from the Miami Rare Bird
Farm. Enos worked really hard for his space mission. He trained for more
than 1,250 hours at the University of Kentucky, and the Holloman Air
Force Base. When he was finally ready, Enos was launched in the Mercury
Atlas IV on September 13, 1961. Unfortunately, the mission did not make it
up into space. Enos's second mission did go into space. It was the
Mercury V, in November, 1961. Enos successfully orbited Earth. He did one
orbit in one hour and 28.5 minutes. The next NASA mission to orbit the
Earth would be Lt. Colonel John Glenn's.
The reason for the animal experiments was to see if living things could stay
alive in space.