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Before humans were launched into the hazards of space, the United States and Soviet Union sent animals in their stead, primarily chimpanzees and dogs. Space was the great unknown and it was deemed necessary to send animals first for both scientific study and the reduction of risk to human space travelers. After successful launches and medical analysis of the test subjects, both countries introduced the human factor to the era’s Space Race.
On the Shoulders of Giants: The Moon and Beyond, Booth Library, Exhibits