Brave Animal Astronauts Who Made Giant Leaps For Humankind

We’ve all heard stories of animal heroes, but what about animals that were true pioneers? Did you know that the first astronauts were actually cuddly little animals? It’s true! Scientists were afraid of the effects of space travel would be hazardous to humans, so they sent animals up instead.

This weird obsession with lobbing animals at the sky started in 1783 when the Montgolfier Brothers invented the hot air balloon.

Instead of putting a convicted criminal in the balloon during its first public test flight like the king wanted, the brothers instead gathered a ragtag team of a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The animals never left the Earth’s atmosphere, but man was it adorable.

SEE ALSO: The russian sleep experiment. Are you brave enough?

Here are some of the brave animals who made giant leaps for humankind. Unfortunately, the majority of the animals sent into space didn’t have a safe journey back home.

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