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 may have been in greater danger when we first tried to visit space. Check out our gallery to see some of the greatest spacefaring creatures.
Baker the Squirrel Monkey
Belka and Strelka
Felix the Cat
Ham The Astro Chimp