The True History of Animals in Space – Part 1

We all know chimps and dogs have been to space.

But did you know one of the earliest animal astronauts was a mouse?

I was so fascinated by the true stories of animal astronauts that I decided to include an illustrated timeline at the end of my new picture book, called Stellarphant ⭐🐘🚀 ⁠

The back endpapers of Stellarphant

I couldn’t fit much detail into the book, though, so I’m sharing my research here.

So let’s get started with the very first animal astronaut …

🥁🥁🥁 * drum roll * 🥁🥁🥁⁠

1947: FRUIT FLY⁠

Date: Feb 20, 1947⁠
Mission: V-2 Rocket No.20⁠

The very first earthlings to travel into space! ⁠

The United States launched fruit flies in a V2 rocket to an altitude of 109km (68mi), testing them for radiation exposure. ⁠

The fruit flies were recovered alive. ⁠

Many years later, fruit fly eggs were also among the first bits of Earthling life to land on the far side of the moon! They were in a small biosphere experiment in the Chang’e 4 Chinese probe which landed on January 3rd, 2019.
So far, not even humans have been to the far side of the moon; all our moon missions landed on the near side.

Continue reading “The True History of Animals in Space – Part 1”