A crowdfunding campaign to honor the first cat in space is undereway: A statue to Félicette, the first cat in space. by Matthew Serge Guy — Kickstarter

Over the last 54 years, the story of the first and only cat to go to space has been largely forgotten. She deserves a proper memorial.

With 14 hours left, the campaign has gotten pledges of $51,292 towards the $52,681 goal. (If they don’t reach the goal, they get no money.) 

Félicette suborbital spaceflight was part of a French study of weightlessness:

On the 18th of October 1963, she blasted off from a base in Hammaguir, Algeria. Her short flight included 5 minutes of weightlessness and reached a height of 157 kilometres. Her capsule then parachuted back down to Earth, where she was met by a helicopter recovery team, just 13 minutes after launch. 

After her successful flight, reports indicate Félicette returned to the French space programme’s laboratory for 2 or 3 months of further study. She was then sadly put to sleep, in order to further analyse the electrodes implanted in her brain.

The campaign will fund a statue from sculpture Gill Parker:

Gill Parker is one of the most acclaimed animal sculptors of our time. Should this project be fully funded, Gill has kindly offered to help us bring this statue to life.

A group photo with Félicette after the flight: