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Animals have been used in space science research since the beginning of the space age. Both the United States and Soviet/Russian space programs used animals.

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Presentation on theme: "Animals have been used in space science research since the beginning of the space age. Both the United States and Soviet/Russian space programs used animals."— Presentation transcript:


2 Animals have been used in space science research since the beginning of the space age. Both the United States and Soviet/Russian space programs used animals to collect medical information and test the concepts used to put humans in space.

3 In 1948 a rhesus monkey named Albert was launched on a sub-orbital flight aboard a V2. Three more V2 flights took place in 1949 involving monkeys named Albert II, Albert III and Albert IV. Unfortunately none of these animals survived due to mechanical failures. V2 rocket

4 In the 1950s the US developed a new, more reliable rocket called the Aerobee. The first launch of the Aerobee rocket carried a monkey named Albert V. Unfortunately this rocket also crashed after failure of its parachute system. Aerobee rocket launch

5 Finally in September 1951 an Aerobee rocket carrying a rhesus monkey named Albert VI along with 11 mice survived a flight into space. Sadly Albert VI died two hours after landing.

6 In May 1952 two Phillipine macaque monkeys named Patricia and Michael were launched on the third Aerobee launch. The flight was a resounding success and both were recovered in good health - a big step forward for American space flight.

7 While the US were using monkeys in their testing the Soviets had decided to use dogs. In July 1951 the Soviet Union launched two dogs Tsygan and Dezik into space on a R-1 rocket Both dogs survived the flight. Soviet Space Dog

8 On November 3, 1957 the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 carrying a dog named Laika. She became the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika

9 Laika died just a few hours after launch due to stress and overheating Although she did not survive her flight proved that a living organism could be launched into orbit and survive microgravity. Laika in her capsule prior to launch

10 In December 1958 the US launched a squirrel monkey named Gordo aboard a Jupiter rocket. The parachute system failed and unfortunately Gordo was lost. Gordo the squirrel monkey

11 After Gordo two monkeys were selected for the next biological flight, Able and Baker. Able and Baker were launched on a Jupiter rocket on May 28, 1959. The flight went flawlessly with the monkeys experiencing 9 minutes of weightlessness before returning safely. Able and Baker

12 Able died 4 days after the mission during surgery to remove an infected electrode. Baker lived until the ripe old age of 27, dying in 1984. She even celebrated her 21 st birthday with 1000 guests being presented with a jelly cake made with strawberries and bananas. Baker the squirrel monkey

13 Russia continued sending dogs into space. Belka and Strelka spent a day in orbit aboard Sputnik 5 on August 19, 1960 and were successfully returned to Earth. They became the first Earth born creatures to orbit the Earth and return alive. Strelka and Belka

14 In January 1961 Ham the chimpanzee was launched into space. He had been trained to pull levers to receive banana pellets and avoid electric shocks. His flight demonstrated the ability to perform tasks in microgravity. Ham being greeted by the recovery ships commander after his flight

15 On April 12, 1961 Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and also the first to orbit the Earth. This was followed by American Alan B. Shepard’s suborbital flight on May 5, 1961 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin – the first man in space (Source: The Russian Institute of Radionavigation and Time)

16 A chimpanzee named Enos became the first chimp to orbit the Earth in November 1961. Enos paved the way for American John Glenn to orbit the Earth. Enos on launch day

17 In the Soviet Union the dogs Veterok and Ugolyok were launched aboard Kosmos 110 on February 22, 1966 and spent 22 days in orbit. This record breaking flight was not surpassed by humans until 1974. Veterok and Ugolyok on a Russian postal stamp in 1966

18 After the Moon landing in July 1969 the role of animals in space was downgraded to biological research payloads. Their role became helping us understand the long term health effects associated with the space environment Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

19 When the space shuttle was first launched in 1981 it provided the perfect platform for scientists and researchers to undertake experiments on animals in space.

20 The use of animals on the Space Shuttle has greatly advanced the understanding of gravity on physiology, improved the ability of astronauts to live and work in space and tested new medical therapies for use back on Earth. An astronaut examines a newt aboard the Space Shuttle

21 Throughout the 1990s research continued on a wide variety of animals to study the effect of microgravity on biology including crickets, mice, rats, frogs, newts, fruit flies, snails, fish, insect eggs, quail eggs and more.

22 Australia launched animals into space in 2003, Glen Waverly Secondary College supported by RMIT University, Melbourne Zoo and the Department of Education launched spiders into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. The aim of the experiment was to study the composition of spider webs in microgravity for materials research. Unfortunately this was the ill fated flight in which the Space Shuttle was lost on re- entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.

23 Throughout the early days of spaceflight animals played a vital role in testing the initial spacecraft and technology needed to put humans into space. They deserve to be remembered as the real pioneers of space flight. Even today animals play a vital role in furthering our understanding of the space environment.

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