World’s Strangest

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A Brief and Incomplete History of Launching Animals Into Space

Pretty much ever since humans discovered flight, we’ve been strapping animals into our new devices just to see what would happen. Over the last 330 years or so, we’ve launched dogs, cats, chimps, monkeys, roosters, ducks, spiders, fruit flies, silk worms, ants, bees, moss, turtles, rabbits, jellyfish, amoebae, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish, and one Enlightment-era [...]

Laika’s Revenge

Laika was the first living creature from Earth in space. She rode into orbit in Sputnik 2 and died there — as the Soviets knew she would. Nick Abadzis has created a graphic novel which depicts alternate scenarios for Laika. It looks like the Soviet space program may come to an early end. Link -via [...]

The Secret Race to the Moon

The following is reprinted from the book Uncle John’s Unsinkable Bathroom Reader. For nearly twenty years after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in July 1969, the Soviet Union categorically denied having a manned lunar program of its own. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that we began to learn just how close they came to [...]

5 Frightening (But True) Space Stories

There are no aliens in these stories from NASA and the Soviet space program, just true tales of how being an astronaut is no picnic. Decompression? Landing in the wrong place? Using the toilet without a toilet? Not pleasant! On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard wet his pants aboard Freedom 7, but Apollo bathroom facilities would [...]