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1950: The first mouse

The first mouse was launched into space on August 15, 1950, and gained an altitude of 87 miles but didn’t survive the return; like Albert II, he had a parachute malfunction.

Two weeks later, on August 31, 1950, the United Space launched another mouse into space, but he too had a bum parachute and didn’t survive his mission.

More mice were launched throughout the 1950s, but it took until August 19, 1960, before mice—42 of them, in fact, and two rats—survived a trip to and from space.

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