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    What was the first animal in space?

    Since the very beginning of space exploration, animals have been used in space programmes

    Since the very beginning of space exploration, animals have been used in space programmes. Find out what pioneering animals travelled in space, and which was the first to orbit the Earth.

    What was the first animal in space? 

    While many flights into space may have accidentally carried bacteria and other forms of life on board, the first living creatures intentionally sent into space were fruit flies. These were transported aboard a V2 rocket on 20 February 1947.

    The fruit flies were launched from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as part of a research mission. The unnamed rocket travelled 67 miles into the air before parachuting back to Earth. NASA currently recognises the altitude of 66 miles (100km) as the point where space officially begins. Therefore, the fruit flies are considered the first animals ever to reach the final frontier.

    The V2 rockets were the world's first long-range guided missiles and were used by Germany during World War II. The missiles could fly at a top speed of 3,500 miles per hour and strike targets over 200 miles away. Following the war, the US seized many of these rockets and used them for research purposes, laying the groundwork for future space launches. Wernher von Braun, who designed the V2 was even involved in the designing of the Saturn V rocket for NASA.

    The flies were the perfect passengers for the flight as their compact size, and relatively light weight made their storage easy and conserved on fuel consumption.

    At the time, little was known as to the effects of cosmic radiation on organic matter. As fruit flies have a similar genetic make-up to humans, they were seen as an eligible subject for testing and research. On the safe recovery of the flies' capsule, the scientists found that the flies' genetics had not been mutated by the radiation, which paved the way for future human spaceflight.

    What was the first animal to orbit the Earth?

    In the 1940s and 1950s, the Soviet Union and US space programmes sent numerous species of animals into space, including monkeys, mice and dogs. However, these were suborbital flights, which meant the spacecraft passed into outer space before falling back to Earth without making an orbit.

    The first animal to make an orbital spaceflight around the Earth was the dog Laika, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 on 3 November 1957.


    Laika was a young, part-Samoyed terrier found as a stray in Moscow. She was chosen as the Soviet scientists believed a homeless animal would be better equipped to endure the cold, hunger and harsh conditions of space travel. However, with inadequate oxygen and food supplies, Laika’s death in space was expected from the outset of the mission.

    In their training before the launch, the canine candidates were placed in a series of demanding endurance trials and medical examinations. Among other tests, scientists examined how the animals would cope in the distressingly cramped space capsule. Laika and two other dogs (Albina and Mushka) were placed in increasingly smaller cages over several weeks. With her calm temperament and grace under pressure, Laika was chosen. Vladimir Yazdovsky, the leader of the Soviet space mission, described Laika as “quiet and charming.”

    Laika’s spacecraft, Sputnik 2 was fitted with a variety of innovative devices to keep her alive. There was an oxygen generator which absorbed carbon dioxide, a heat-activated fan to regulate the temperature and the capsule was stocked with enough food to keep the dog alive for seven days.

    There are conflicting accounts of Laika’s death in space. The Soviet Union initially suggested she had died when the oxygen levels depleted or that she had been deliberately ‘put to sleep’ with poisoned food. In 1999 several Russian sources (such as the scientists involved in the space programme) stated that Laika had died on the fourth orbit of the Earth after a failure in Sputnik 2’s temperature controls. On 14 April 1958 (after approximately 2,570 orbits), Sputnik 2 and Laika’s remains left orbit and disintegrated on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

    In 2008, nearly 50 years after the historic flight, a monument to Laika was finally installed outside Star City, a military facility in Russia where she was trained for her trip. The statue resembles a rocket that merges into a hand, launching Laika into space.

    Laika - The first dog in space

    Animals that went to space

    As well as the fruit flies and Laika, since the 1940s, a variety of animals have been sent into space including ants, cats, frogs, and even jellyfish.

    To date, a total of 32 monkeys have flown in space. These species include rhesus macaques, squirrel monkeys and pig-tailed monkeys. Chimpanzees have also flown.

    On 4 June 1949, Albert II became the first monkey in space, but he died on reentry when the parachute to his capsule failed. Two other monkeys, Albert III and IV also died when their rockets failed.

    A mouse was launched into space on 15 August 1950 but did not survive the return journey.

    In the 1950s, the US and the Soviet Union launched a total of 12 dogs on various suborbital flights, Laika being the first.

    On 31 January 1961, the first hominid was launched into space. A chimpanzee named Ham was part of the US-led Mercury space programme. A main part of the mission was to test whether tasks could be performed in space, the results of which were instrumental when launching the first American in space, Alan Shepard, on 5 May 1961.

    स्रोत : www.rmg.co.uk

    10 animals that have been to space

    Animals were the early pioneers of space flight, often losing their lives. But what animals have been in space, and how many animals have died in space?

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    स्रोत : www.discoverwildlife.com

    KBC 2022

    KBC 2022| Which of these animals was the first to go around the moon in a spacecraft and return to Earth?

    By Udit Lakhoria - September 20, 2022

    KBC 2022| Choose the correct answer

    Question: Which of these animals was the first to go around the moon in a spacecraft and return to Earth?

    A. Mouse B. Rabbit C. Tortoise D. Chimpanzee

    The correct answer C, Tortoise

    स्रोत : www.mapsofindia.com

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    Mohammed 2 day ago

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