On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human in history to step on the surface of the moon. Millions of people tuned in to a broadcast of the event, and after Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. joined Armstrong, the two spent about two and a half hours gathering lunar rocks to bring back for analysis. The successful mission was a triumph, not just for the United States, but for mankind.
What many people don't know, however, are the special sacrifices that had to be made in order to get human astronauts up into space at all. The major unsung heroes of space exploration, it turns out, are animals. Let's learn more about animal astronauts and why so many animals died in outer space.