During the early time of the space program, countries sent monkeys and dogs into orbit before daring to send a human being. That’s because scientists wanted to learn the effect of space on living creatures before risking the life of a human.
What’s often overlooked in this history of space exploration is that a cat from Paris actually flew into space. On Oct. 18, 1963, a French cat named Félicette flew nearly 100 miles (157 kilometers) above the Earth. Fifteen minutes later, she safely returned to Earth by parachuting down in her little space capsule — alive and well.
To commemorate history, people are now funding a memorial to Félicette, the only space faring feline in history. If you would like to see a memorial in Paris to the first cat in space, donate money today.