Miss Baker was one of the squirrel monkeys sent into space
Since the very beginning of space exploration, animals have been used in space programmes. Find out what pioneering animals travelled in space, and which was the first to orbit the Earth.
To date, a total of 32 monkeys have flown in space. These species include rhesus macaques, squirrel monkeys and pig-tailed monkeys. Chimpanzees have also flown.
On 4 June 1949, Albert II became the first monkey in space, but he died on reentry when the parachute to his capsule failed. Two other monkeys, Albert III and IV also died when their rockets failed.
A mouse was launched into space on 15 August 1950 but did not survive the return journey.
In the 1950s, the US and the Soviet Union launched a total of 12 dogs on various suborbital flights, Laika being the first.
On 31 January 1961, the first hominid was launched into space. A chimpanzee named Ham was part of the US-led Mercury space programme. A main part of the mission was to test whether tasks could be performed in space, the results of which were instrumental when launching the first American in space, Alan Shepard, on 5 May 1961.
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