The First Monkey in Outer Space: Albert II
Before humans were sent into space, it was important for scientists to test the survivability of outer space without endangering human lives. One of the ways this was done was by sending animals in place of humans. While several different types of animals were used for this testing throughout the years, monkeys became one of the best types because of their similarities to humans. Do you know the name of the first monkey in space?
The first monkey sent to outer space was named Albert II. Albert II was a Rhesus Monkey, a small monkey that is known for its survivability of a large range of habitats. Albert II was sent into space by the United States space program in order for scientists to test the effects of radiation that astronauts would be exposed to at high altitudes.
Albert II was sent into space aboard a V2 rocket. The V2 rocket is a long-range ballistic missile developed in Germany. Both the United States and the Soviet Union used the V2 missile technology as part of their space programs. The V2 rockets used to send monkeys into space were modified to attempt to safely carry the animal into space and allow for a safe return of it, as well.
While the launch of the V2 rocket carrying Albert II was a success and he was able to reach the high altitudes that scientists we aiming for, he unfortunately did not survive the parachute landing that was part of his return to Earth. Many other monkeys flew to space after Albert II, but he will always be known as the first one to do so.