On Oct. 18, 1963, a cat went to space! Félicette was a French “catstronaut” who became the first and only feline to fly to space.
While the U.S. and Soviet Union were busy launching primates, dogs and humans, the French decided to join the space race by launching a cat. Félicette, a stray tuxedo cat from the streets of Paris, was a substitute for another cat named Felix, who somehow escaped on launch day.
So Félicette went where no cat had ever gone before. She boarded a French Véronique AG1 rocket and soared 130 miles above the Earth before safely parachuting back down. Luckily Félicette made it home alive and well, unlike many of the other animal astronauts that flew during the space race.