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A Space Race for the Dogs... and Monkeys and Fruit Flies

A Space Race for the Dogs... and Monkeys and Fruit Flies

Yes, before Apollo 13, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin, humans sent fruit flies, monkeys, and dogs into space to determine if living beings could survive the trip. These tests helped prove that, given a certain amount of precautions and protections, humans could endure space flight. The V-2 rocket developed by the Germans was the first man-made object to reach the so-called fringes of space. On February 20, 1947, a mere 22 months after Germany’s surrender, the United States launched a captured V-2 rocket with fruit flies aboard. But one should not forget that Earth’s first headline space travelers were not humans, but fruit flies, monkeys, and dogs.

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