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Man-In-Space Firsts:
The Space Menagerie

First higher life form in space: Laika was a female mongrel dog on a life-support system in the USSR's Sputnik 2 blasted to space in November 1957. The dog captured the hearts of people around the world as life slipped away from Laika ten days into her journey. Sputnik 2 fell into the atmosphere and burned in April 1958.

Russian dogs in orbit: Seven dogs were launched to space between 1957 and 1961 as the USSR prepared to send men to orbit: Laika (Barker in Russian), Belka (Squirrel in Russian), Strelka (Little Arrow), Pchelka (Little Bee), Mushka (Little Fly), Chernushka (Blackie) and Zvezdochka (Little Star). Laika, Pchelka, and Mushka died in flight. In 1966, the dogs Veterok and Ugolek were launched.

First primates in space: Monkeys Albert 1 and Albert 2 died in 1946 in the nose cones of captured German V-2 rockets during U.S. tests. A monkey and mice died in 1951 when their parachute failed to open after a U.S. Aerobee rocket launch. Then a monkey and 11 mice, shot to the edge of space on an Aerobee rocket in 1951, were recovered alive, the first successful spaceflight for living creatures. In 1959, the monkey Sam made a suborbital flight in a Mercury capsule. Another monkey, Miss Sam, flew in a 1960 suborbital Mercury capsule. Ham, a chimp, made a suborbital flight in 1961 in a Mercury capsule.

First primate in orbit: The chimp Enos flew for two orbits of Earth in a Mercury capsule in November 1961.

First green tree frog: The U.S. launched a monkey in Biosatellite 3 in June 1969 for a month in orbit, but the passenger was brought down ill from loss of body fluids after only nine days. It died shortly after landing. Later U.S. and USSR flights carried white Czechoslovakian rats, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys, newts, fruit flies, fish and green tree frogs.

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