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First in Space!

A few space firsts, from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids

First person to run the Boston Marathon while in space: NASA astronaut Sunita Williams aboard the International Space Station. She was an official participant, even though she ran on a treadmill. Her time: 4: 23: 10.

First monkey in space: Albert II, a rhesus monkey, on a U.S. rocket, 1949. He died, as did Albert III, IV, and V.

First monkey in space to survive: Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, 1958. She lived another 26 years after landing. Her companion, Able, also survived the flight, but died three days later during an operation to remove an infected medical electrode that had been implanted for the flight.

First fatalities in space: Soviet astronauts Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev, and Vladislav Volkov on June 29, 1971.

First haircut in space: American astronaut Paul Weitz got a trim from Pete Conrad in 1973.

First fish in space: A mummichog, 1973.

First e-mail from space: On August 28, 1991, from the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis.

First codger in space: John Glenn, age 77, on October 29, 1998. His space shuttle flight honored his first flight in 1962, when he became the fifth person in space and the first American to orbit Earth. Bonus fact: In 1962 the people of Perth, Australia, turned on their house, street, and car lights to greet John Glenn as he flew over them in the dark. In 1998 they did the same thing.

First video game advertisement from space: Astronaut Don Pettit catapulted stuffed birds at pigs in the International Space Station in 2012 to promote the Angry Birds in Space game, which had been created in cooperation with NASA.

First woman in space: Russian Valentina Tereshkova in 1963. (Sally Ride didn’t become the first American woman in space until 20 years later.)

First cat in space: Felix, launched by the French in 1963.

(Images credit: NASA)


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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