On October 18, 1963, a cat named Felicette (Then designated C341) was blasted off to space from the Sahara desert by the Centre National d'études Spatiales (CNES), the French version of NASA. 12 min following launch, her capsule parachuted back down to Earth, after a very successful flight. Félicette was then turned to the French space program's laboratories for three months of further study during which she was sadly euthanized so the scientists could study the effects of space travel on her body.
But Felicette's heroic story has been largely forgotten, passed over by history. Very few people are even aware that a cat went to space at all.
Thanks to this space-loving guy, the astrocat finally gets the memorial she rightly deserves.
Story Via: Smithsonian
Last month, a team unveiled a bronze statue of Felicette, the astrocat, at the International Space University in Strasbourg.
It was thanks to 1,141 backers on Kickstarter who help fund the statue.
Who is Felicette?
"Even today, there are still conflicting stories on whether the French space program simply found Félicette as a stray on the streets of Paris, or if she was purchased from a cat dealer. Either way, she was chosen out of 14 cats who were put into training for this, probably due to her easy nature and her reaction to a series of tests", it says on the dedicated Kickstarter page.
For some bizarre reason, she was miscredited to the name Felix (Who actually, never existed at all).
Reminder of sacrifice
The fact that felicette was an unwilling participant in this experiment and has undergone massive training prior to the mission that eventually took her life, the new bronze statue should serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by all animal astronauts throughout the Space Race.
Félicette deserves to be in the space pantheon
Almost two years ago, Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director for a British ad agency has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $52,439 for building a memorial statue in hoping to restore Félicette to the pantheon of great space explorers.
Nearly six decades after her journey, Félicette is now immortalized in A five-foot-tall bronze statue, designed by sculptor Gill Parker. The statue depicts her gazing up toward the skies she once traveled.
Watch her story
- Reposted by