Sunday, 22 October 2017

course à l'espace

Thanks to the dedication of one feline-fancier who wants to remedy a grave historical omission by raising interest and erect a monument in Paris, we learn the tale of brave Félicette, a stray cat, who unlike her more famous canine compatriot Laika the Space Dog, undertook in 1963 a flight of fifteen minutes and survived to relate her experience, safely returned to Earth in a parachute capsule.
Félicitte’s vitals and vocal reactions were recorded during the launch, flight, which included five minutes of zero-gravity, reflected that the experience was not a pleasant one for the traveller. Her contributions to rocketry helped with the development of a satellite launch platform that enabled the French to compete with the US and the USSR. Sadly instead of being allow to retire as an inspiration to others, Félicette was some months later euthanized so the distressing effects of space flight might be studied further. That in itself makes me think that the first and so far only space cat deserves some sort of memorial.