Laika The Astronaut Dog Laika, a Russian mutt, was the first animal to orbit the Earth. She did not survive the journey, but died a hero. WikipediaDogs, cats, chimps, and more! Click to launch the photo gallery This week, Iran claimed it finally succeeded in its long-fought effort to launch a monkey into space. The poor creature did not appear to enjoy the preparations, according to the pained, slightly constipated expression in photographs of him in his safety seat. That got us thinking about the many other animals to have ventured into space before him. A veritable zoo of creatures, from dogs and cats to apes and amoebas, has visited space on our behalf. Many of them were lost or sacrificed in the name of research, but several had happy endings, returning safely to Earth and living out their days in zoos. Without their sacrifice and the biomedical research it enabled, humans...
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