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In modern times, we are all too familiar with names such as Niel Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Alan B. Shepard and even Yuri Gagarin. These individuals marked groundbreaking milestones in space exploration and pushing the human race forward, not to mention the endless technological advances that came with it all as well.

However, what a lot of people fail to admit, or even realise, is that we owe the success of these pioneers to the lives of countless animals, insects and reptiles. These creatures were sent to space as test subjects to allow scientists to understand the effects of zero-gravity environments and radiation levels on a living body.

In the late 1940s, an ex-Nazi who was responsible for the development of the German V2 rocket, Wernher Von Braun, got a second chance at a free life. He was captured by the Americans post WW2, but his life-long legacy and interest was rocket science. Onboard his design, the American's were the first to put living creatures into space. Fruit flies were sent up to help scientists understand the nature of space and its effects on life.

Since then, nations who would later be heavily involved in the Space Race, put countless lifeforms into space for similar research. These included fruit flies, mice, monkeys, chimpanzees, guinea pigs, rabbits, frogs, reptiles, insects, cats and dogs, most of which never made it home alive. The larger mammals were surgically implanted with heart rate and breathing monitors and, in some cases, brain implants as well.

Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Riddle, on the Sad Truth Behind Animals Sent To Space...

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