In 1947, fruit flies were the first animal to enter space

Laika flew on the Soviet Sputnik 2 rocket in 1957

Ham the chimp flew in 1961 and was trained to perform tasks

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space

A C. elegans worm

While perhaps not an obvious choice the tiny C. elegans worm has been routinely used on Earth and in space to study biology. Click on the picture of a C. elegans worm to find out more about them. 

  • We ultimately need to study human responses to spaceflight, but the small number of astronauts and inability to perform invasive experiments means different approaches are needed

  • The negative effects of space also occur in other species, so we can use these to study these changes

  • There is a long history of scientists sending animals into space for research...

Space research