Felicite, the kitten who reached space – El Sol de Mexico

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Felicite, the kitten who reached space – El Sol de Mexico

In 1963 From the French space station Hamaguier, A cohete Véronique With the cat FelicetteOn a successful space flight

Animals in space

After Flight of the dog named Laika Soviet Union in 1957 and subsequent others, and Chimp ham United States in 1961 and many later, France became the third country to carry Creatures that live in space. On February 22, 1961, he flew Hector Ely. Months later two more small mice flew on October 15th and 18th.

Rats carried Implants in your brain Measure yours Neurological activity And be aware of the changes you experience A creature that lives in zero gravity.

French scientists wanted the flight of Hector and other rats to be successful Experiment with a large animal. They decided gatosIt will help them to understand because they have accumulated enough neurocognitive knowledge from them changes Affected in Space flight.

Veronique Rocket

France started its rocket program Veronica in 1948He abandoned efforts to test Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket and favored his own design.

The rockets were named Veronique. In reference to the French city Vernon, where they were built, plus the suffix “onique”. Electronic.

The first flights of the Véronique rocket version R and P were carried out in French cities: Suippes, Vernon Y Cordonet. In 1952, when the program reached sufficient maturity, the missiles were transferred to French bases Hammaguir y Recan, in the Algerian Sahara. There, N version rockets, 6 meters high and 1 to 2 tons, reached an altitude of 70 km.

It can carry up to 60 kg The boundary between Earth and space, Located at an altitude of 100 km. He continued Veronique AGI 7.10 m high and reaches a height of 210 km.

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Félicette’s story

One day in Paris in 1963, A Pet dealer Picked one up from the street Kitten paintsIt bought along with 13 others Aeronautical Medicine Research and Research Center Serma. Yes, they were all women because their calm nature makes them ideal crew members for space travel.

The training was similar to humans Astrology They were subjected to a centrifuge with movement on three axes. For immobility and containment fabric inside a capsule, for noise and vibration Rocket during takeoff and re-entry Atmosphere. In the end, only six were selected.


On October 17, 1963, C 341 for its quietness and adequate weight, 2.5 kg.

The next morning, October 18, 60 years ago, The Astrocadite Felicet In a special capsule designed for her, Véronique AGI no. She boarded the 47 rocket.

The rocket lifted off at 8:09 am and its engine ignited for 42 seconds, taking it to an altitude of 157 km. Felicet experienced up to 9.5 g. Or 9.5 times the gravity we feel on Earth. His heart rate and respiration increased but returned to normal. From the control center Monitored his brain activity By encephalogram.

The spacecraft was in orbitThat is, the space capsule returns to Earth before returning to our planet. The flight lasted only 10 minutes and 32 seconds.In this, the astrogatite Experienced 5 minutes of weightlessness.

A few minutes later, The space capsule returned to Earth and deployed its parachuteIt landed 2.4 km from the launch pad and the rescue teams reached it after 13 minutes. Félicette was in good health.

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The flight was a success and Belicet became the first and only kitten to go into space.

A sad ending

Ten days later another space shuttle crashed. The Véronique AGI No. 50 rocket crashed shortly after liftoff about 120 km from the launch pad. Its crew member, another Astrogate, did not survive.

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Months later, in 1964 Félicette died on purpose, scientists were able to retrieve the electrodes implanted in his brain. They discovered that the kitten suffered from insomnia during weightlessness Central block. It is thought to be due to loss of sensory sensitivity Space flight. Humans don’t suffer from it because, apparently, tasks and communications interfere with sleep when it comes to space.

Felicet was named for the planeBecause no one has a name Prevents scientists from connecting with them. The press called her Felix, but when it was announced she was female, she was called Félicette.

Since then, There are no flights of astrocadites. In March 1967, France sent two female monkeys, Martine and Pierrette, into space on successful flights. Later, France collaborated with the Soviet Union in biological research on space flights.

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Like Laika, Bielka and Strylka in the Soviet Union or Hamm and Albert in the US, Hector and Félicette’s flight helped in France. Understand the biology and neuroscience of spaceflight and allowed human spaceflight.

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