While we commend these brave creatures on their orbital journeys and appreciate the valuable job they do for us humans, we’d like to point out that many other animals went into space before and after them. Animals like monkeys, apes, dogs, mice, cats, goldfish, and chimpanzees. Some returned fine, and others suffered extreme conditions. Outer space is littered with the corpses of more than half a century of our investigations. Here’s a brief summary of some of our unfortunate animals: http://science.howstuffworks.com/dead-animals-in-space.htm, and you can read more about them online.
View/download Animals in Spaaaaaaace in poster form (PDF)
Drawn by Hoot, written by Roar.
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If you ever come through Los Angeles, a visit to the Museum of Jurassic Technology will bring you to a poignant exhibit of oil portraits of all of the Soviet space dogs. I thought it was particularly moving. When the exhibit premiered 2007, it was profiled in the New York Times:
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