jump to navigation

Jim Lewis, Friday, 7-11-14 July 12, 2014

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jim Lewis, Friday, 7-11-14


Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)


If you rate shows on live365.com, email me your rating reasons to help improve the show

Guest:  Jim Lewis.  Topics:  We discussed the new documentary, “America’s Animal Astronaut Heroes.”  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Jim Lewis to discuss his new documentary DVD, “America’s Animal Astronaut Heroes.”  During the first segment of our 1 hour 36 minute program, Jim introduced us to the animals in space topic starting with V2 rocket experiments and the fruit flies who rode the V2 to space in early 1947 from White Sands, NM.  Jim also said fruit flies were used on shuttle experiments.  I asked why fruit flies so don’t miss his explanation.  We talked about other animals going to space including frogs, jellyfish, toadfish, butterflies, Russian dogs, monkeys, chimps & others.  Jim also mentioned that the Russians had had an animal lab in space which only came down recently.  A listener asked about American dogs in space and we learned that only Russia had put dogs in space.  I asked about the early days of animal experiments and the review and approval process back then for doing animal experiments.  Jim was asked about the target age for kids for the documentary.  He said it was definitely a family program and suitable for pre-teens.  He also talked about their process to develop an app for the documentary with many special features.  Jim got questions about food animals going to space as well as pets.  I brought up service dogs/animals and said I would not be surprised if people will claim they need their service animal with them even on a suborbital flight.  If they are refused, we might actually see some pretty stupid discrimination law suits on the topic in years to come.  We had some good fun with discussion as well Marshal’s call about food stock animals and other issues.

We started the second segment with a call from Doug in Southern California. Doug wanted to know the most popular animal that consumers and tourists would want to take to space. I voted for our pets, primarily dogs, maybe cats.  The question was asked if a cat had ever gone to space. I did a quick search and saw that Iran was planning to send a Persian cat to space but I could not find confirmation of it.  In the remainder of the final segment, Jim talked about the media star animals that had been to space and what happened to them after their space trip.  As the program was closing, Jim went over the order process for the DVD which is $19.99 and can be ordered from http://www.cciflorida.com/shop. It will soon be on Amazon and remember, if you buy it that way, use the OGLF portal so Amazon will contribute to TSS.  Before the show ended, we talked about major media and their waning interest at this time in space topics and materials. Our final topics included Jay Barbree’ s new book on Neil Armstrong, Buzz and his where were you when Apollo landed program plus a few surprise topics.

Please post your comments/question on TSS blog.  You can reach Jim Lewis through his website or me.


1. J Fincannon - April 22, 2015

Bears (instead of people) were tested on accelerator sleds (www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD0653972) for the space program in the 1960’s. At least one died of the acceleration (92G!). The survivors (of 35-50G) were autopsied to check for internal damage anyway. I consider them heroes too.

2. J Fincannon - July 16, 2014

I thought about it a little and it seems that microbes have been the only “animals” sent beyond the lunar orbit into deep space and those have not been intentional. What with Planetary Protection, they try to bake out microbes, but can’t get them all. Still, the one with the most microbes/bacteria and other tiny life forms (that feed off our skin cells) that went way beyond the Moon was the Apollo 11 ascent stage. It apparently went into some distant heliocentric orbit.

3. J Fincannon - July 15, 2014

A slight difference between humans and animals for testing is that scientists usually like to dissect after an experiment with animals, which treatment humans can fortunately avoid.

Regarding the Soviet turtles/tortoises, they were flown on Zond 5, 6, 7, and 8. But whereas they were successfully recovered and alive (both hungry and thirsty) and had lost some body weight, the ones from Zond 6 did not fair so well and were “lost”.

4. J Fincannon - July 15, 2014

An enjoyable show.

Doug and others were worried about “dog food”. I imagine that by the time the issue of pets in space needs to be addressed, we will have Petri dish-grown steaks to feed them.

I would have liked to hear if any Americans launched animals around the Moon (and recovered them!) as did the Soviets (Zond-5). These included turtles! Any other interplanetary animals (intentional or not)?

I like the idea that humans have carried billions of “animals” (microbes in their bodies) into space. 500 species at any one time are in the body. There are 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells.

I was concerned about the desire to downplay the casualties of animals used in advancing space travel. This also seems to be done a lot in medical testing. I am not equaling humans or animals, but there is no need to gloss over the sacrifices. On the US side in the early days, animal participants in balloon flights were lost many times for various reasons (impact due to balloon burst or they could not find the capsule for too many days). These included mice, rats, hamsters, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbit, and monkeys. For missile and rockets launches, of course, this happened too. The following flights lost animals: V-2 Flight 37/monkey, V-2 Flight 47/monkey, V-2 Flight 32/monkey, V-2 Flight 51/mouse, Aerobee USAF-12/monkey/mice, Aerobee USAF-19/monkey, Project MIA Apr 23, 1958/mouse, Army-Navy BioFlight 1/monkey, Discoverer III/4 mice, Jupiter AM23 flight/12 mice/2 frogs. I only know a few of the Soviet dogs that didn’t survive, Laika, Pchelka and Mushka. http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=AD0272581

Jim Lewis - July 15, 2014

In researching the history of animals in space for America’s Animal Astronaut Heroes, I too discovered that some missions with animals we not successful or only partial successful. And, just like human space missions, not all animals or humans survived. That said, as space exploration has continued the reliability and safety for space travelers has got better, but space travel by its very nature, still poses real risks and challenges. When possible, much research about space is done remotely or with computer models. It is only when there is no other way to collect needed data that human or animal astronauts are called in.

I was not aware that the Soviets had flown a turtle around the moon. However, if there is a sequel to America’s Animal Astronaut Heroes, it will be about all the other countries’ launches of animals into space. Thanks for your post. Jim Lewis, producer America’s Animal Astronaut Heroes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: