People have always been fascinated with space, and it seems that ever since we were able to send things up in space — be it animals, toys or food — we have not missed a single chance to do so. Many unusual living beings have been sent up for different researches, and since Star Trek star William Shatner is trending for his space expedition, we thought of listing down 5 of the strangest living things that have been to space before.
Believe it or not, but yes, fruit flies have been sent up to space. American scientists were working on establishing the impact of cosmic radiation on astronauts that would have been sent up in the future. They chose flies because they are genetically similar to humans.
Monkeys and apes
Monkeys and apes have been to space too, a total of 32 monkeys and apes so far. This included rhesus macaque, pig-tailed monkey, cynomolgus monkey, squirrel-tailed monkey and chimpanzee.
Interestingly, mice were housed at the International Space Station as well. The very first mouse that went into space was in 1950, reaching an altitude of 137km. It however had died due to parachute failure.
These amphibians have been a great aid to science, and were sent up in space for an experiment that was designed to investigate the effect of space travel on motion sickness. Nasa had launched the Orbiting Frog Olotith spacecraft containing two bullfrogs in 1970.
Not many know but another in 2007, tardigrades were the first animals to survive outer space. Also known as water bears, these microscopic invertebrates orbited the Earth outside a rocket for 10 days.
These are few of the many unusual living beings that have been to space.
Coming back to William Shatner, the 90-year-old Canadian actor became the oldest-ever astronaut to ever go up in space. “It was unbelievable. What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. What you’re looking down on is Mother Earth, and it needs protecting,” he told the reporters.