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  First cat in space, Felicette (1963)

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Author Topic:   First cat in space, Felicette (1963)
Chris Dubbs

Posts: 145
From: Edinboro, PA USA
Registered: Nov 2004

posted 10-23-2017 04:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chris Dubbs   Click Here to Email Chris Dubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The first cat in space, Félicette, was shot into space 54 years ago from a base in the Sahara desert by the Centre National d'études Spatiales (CNES). Now a British advertising executive is hoping to erect a statue in her honor in Paris, France.
Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director for Anomaly London, has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $52,439 for the statue.

"Around 6 months ago whilst at work, I came across a tea towel in the staff kitchen commemorating the 50th anniversary of the cat who went to space," Guy said in a release. "There was no name for the cat on the towel, nor did it resemble Félicette.

"After Googling it, I became fascinated with Félicette's story, how it had been forgotten over the years, and (like the design of the tea towel) misattributed. It felt like something big should be done to right these wrongs."


Posts: 2037
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 10-24-2017 12:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wehaveliftoff   Click Here to Email Wehaveliftoff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$52,439 should be plenty for a bronze statue, like Laika, etc. Viva Le France.


Posts: 2347
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-24-2017 01:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The story was well reported in the UK press at the time though I think that she was called Felix in the coverage. Also, if my memory serves me, she was a stray taken from the streets of Paris.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 38311
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-17-2017 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First cat in space Félicette to get memorial statue after successful crowdfund

The first cat to launch into space and live to meow about it is getting her own monument — thanks to the crowdfunded support of more than 1,100 of her fans.

A campaign on the Kickstarter website on Friday (Nov. 17) successfully raised more than $57,000 to create "a proper memorial" for Félicette, a female black-and-white stray that lifted off on a French rocket for a sub-orbital spaceflight on Oct. 18, 1963. The funds will underwrite the sculpture and erection of a statue for Félicette in her home city of Paris.


Posts: 5718
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-17-2017 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Wehaveliftoff:
Viva Le France.
Le France is a ship (see: Wikipedia). La France is the country. I guess you meant Viva La France or better Vive La France!


Posts: 564
From: Syracuse, New York, USA
Registered: Oct 2009

posted 11-19-2017 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garyd2831   Click Here to Email garyd2831     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, while I think there is a bit of animal cruelty in the research on these cats by installing an electrode into their skulls (I know, not different than modern research with makeup, cancer drugs, etc.), what actual data was collected from the flight and three months after when they euthanized Felicette that would support and justify what they did?

Is there any historical research source other than Wikipedia? Couldn't they have at least looked at the research conducted by the United States and maybe the Soviet Union a few years earlier? A little late to the game for them.

Oh, and I fully support a monument and more information in regards to their contribution to what would support human spaceflight.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 38311
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-19-2017 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know of a source for papers on the topic, but from the summaries I have read, the feline experiments (which followed amphibian [frog] and rodent flights) were focused on the effects of weightlessness on the structure of the brain, an area of research not well covered by by earlier animal (or human) flights in the United States or Soviet Union.

The French identified this area of study as lacking and realized they had the tools (sounding rockets) by which to try to add to the scientific record.

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