More than 1,100 patrons donated $57,000 to honor Félicette. The chimp was taught how to work certain controls inside the spacecraft, and his trip to space took place on January 31, 1961. A French cat named Félicette became the first and only cat to ever travel to space. It's a classic zero to hero tale: A stray cat is plucked from the streets of Paris and trained to be an astronaut. She launched atop a Véronique AG1 rocket … Unlike American or Soviet animals, “Félicette doesn’t have a path to that larger history,” space historian Robert Pearlman told Rae Paoletta at Gizmodo in 2017. Nearly six decades after her journey, Félicette is now immortalized in bronze. Catstronaut The first and only cat in space is finally being honored with a statue all her own. (Image credit: Courtesy of Matthew Serge Guy) That October, Félicette—then designated C341—was launched from a base in the Sahara Desert, reaching an altitude of about 100 miles above Earth. Felicette, the First Feline in Space, Finally Got Her Due. FREE Shipping on your first order shipped by Amazon. But, you've likely never heard of her. 4.7 out of 5 stars 5. There have been several animals that have gone up into space over the years, and if you can recall any names, you probably most remember the names, Ham the chimpanzee and Laika the dog. Sign Up. “It's time for The Astrocat to get the memorial she rightly deserves,” Guy wrote on the original campaign page. Terms of Use Maria McCutchen + 3 years ago. Before Félicette, France had so far only sent rats to space. This diverges from our own timeline, where a … A Kickstarter project is crowdfunding for a public statue memorializing Félicette, the first cat rocketed into space in 1963. by Allison Meier November 3, 2017 November 3, 2017. You’ll receive news, updates. Electrodes were placed into her skin so she could be monitored as she rode in a carrier that allowed her head to poke out. In mid October 1963 everything was ready. The capsule was recovered 13 minutes after the rocket was ignited. “It’s crazy to think a video I put online almost two and a half years ago has resulted in this,” Guy wrote in a Kickstarter update. NASA sent Ham, a chimpanzee, into space for Project Mercury. Félicette was a tuxedo cat who was inducted into the French space program … Félicette, the First Cat in Space, Finally Gets a Memorial Last month, a team unveiled a bronze statue honoring the feline, who launched on a suborbital mission … Advertising Notice On Oct. 18, 1963, a French cat named Félicette became the first and only feline to ever travel to space. The cats had electrodes implanted onto their skulls so their neurological activity could be monitored throughout the flight. To change that, Matthew Serge Guy from London, England started a campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds to honor the forgotten French feline. Melissa L. Kauffman | Mar 2nd 2018 Who is Mr. Pebbles? 1940s. Give a Gift. on Kickstarter! It was unveiled on the 18th of December 2019, the 25th anniversary of ISU’s Master of Space Studies program, by Lilla Merabet, vice president of the Grand Est region in France; European Space Agency and graduates of ISU astronauts Paolo Nespoli, Helen Sharman, and Reinhold Ewald; and Philippe Jung, chairman of the History Council of the Aeronautical and Astronautical Association. Astrocat Felicette blasted from Algeria to nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers) above Earth. He is considering doing a second, more publicized, event in October, the fifty-seventh anniversary of Félicette’s trip. These efforts, using larger and larger creatures, were—though ethically hazy—intended as trial runs for humans, in part to study the effects of microgravity on mammalian bodies. Who is Félicette? HowStuffWorks. The goal was to measure life support systems in zero gravity, and he came home happy and healthy. Male cat called Felix was chosen to undertake first mission but on the day of the launch this soon to be space cat managed to escape! The cat, named Félicette, was successfully retrieved after a parachute descent, but a second feline flight on October 24 ran into difficulties that prevented recovery. Matthew Serge Guy is raising funds for A statue to Félicette, the first cat in space. Guy did not want to publicize the event widely, according to Space.com, as he was uncertain if the statue would arrive on time. A series of postage stamps, intended to celebrate the cat’s contributions, actually mislabeled her as a male cat named Felix. Félicette’s obscurity may be tied in part to the way early spaceflight has been recorded: primarily as a race between the USSR and the United States, leaving France and its astronauts, human and otherwise, as a secondary character. 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