Friday, October 4, 2013

Animals in space

For this poor little frog, the journey to space and back didn't last more than a few seconds, and I would imagine that his return to Earth (without a parachute) was hectic, if not tragic.

Click to enlarge

During his all-too-short excursion, I would imagine however that he must have had a fabulous view of the rocket (what a pity, though, that he was on the outside looking in, rather than the other way round), and he was surely saying to himself constantly: "So far, so good."

The first space martyr was the Soviet dog Laïka, who died a few hours after leaving Earth on 3 November 1957 in a Sputnik vessel.

In fact, three animals—a sheep, a duck and a rooster—had already participated in the first balloon flight in history, 230 years ago.

The birds appear to be enjoying themselves. Here's a translation of the caption:
 Aerostatic experiment carried out at Versailles on 19 September 1783 in the presence of Their Majesties and of the Royal Family by Monsieur de Montgolfier with a balloon of a height of 52 feet and a diameter of 41 feet. This superb device, bearing the King's signature on a blue background, weighed 900 pounds. The balloon's ascent was accompanied by applause from all the spectators. Then it came back down at the Marechal Carrefour in the Vaucresson woods.
Click here to access a web page describing this momentous event.

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