By NickMog

Ground control to Major Tomcat

It is now widely know that, in the early days of the space race, both the USA and the Soviet Union used animals to pilot their space-rockets. The Russians' first cosmonaut was Laika the dog whilst the first American in space was Ham the ape. This recently-unearthed (an apt adjective for an astronaut) shot shows Lubiyaka - a full Major in the Soviet army - just before she blasted off on her record-breaking mission that was to see her put into an elliptical orbit around Earth. The camera has caught her at the precise moment of realisation that, whilst several animals had been sent into space, she couldn't remember actually seeing any of them afterwards...

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