Since the early days of flight, animals have helped researchers learn how to survive in the sky, and their role continues as humanity voyages into outer space. In 1783, a rooster, a duck and a sheep were placed in a basket attached to the first hot-air balloon. In the age of rockets and space travel, many more animals have travelled into orbit, and most have returned safely to earth.
This book tells the stories of 50 trips into space, with details about the animals and the scientists involved. The experiments, often designed by students, originate from many countries. The book offers an appealing introduction to the purposes of space exploration and the possibilities of safe space travel. It encourages young readers to engage in real science like the young people they will read about in this book.
Jennifer Read grew up in the hills outside San Francisco. A passion for animals led her to a prestigious internship with American Humane's Film and Television Unit in Los Angeles, California, where she worked on movie sets with wolves, horses and many other animals. Jennifer is now a member of the Junior Bengal Lancers, an equestrian society located in Halifax. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband and writing partner John A. Read.
John is the host of the Learn To Stargaze YouTube channel and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. In 2020, he graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University and was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. He is currently a student at Johns Hopkins University, working on his Master’s in Space Systems Engineering.