Strangest Passengers in NASA History

From frogs to fish, the space shuttle has carried plenty of crazy critters
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2011 8:06 AM CDT
Able and fellow "monkeynaut" Miss Baker were the first American mammals to survive a fiery ride into space 50 years ago.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army, file)

(Newser) – You can probably name the first American sent into space (Alan Shepard), but the first monkey, frog, and jellyfish made the trip with far less fanfare. Space Shuttle Atlantis took off yesterday with a few odd passengers: an iPhone and a mutant strain of salmonella. But they're not the only unexpected astronauts NASA has sent into space for low-gravity experiments, reports Wired.

During the past 30 years and 134 missions, the space shuttle has carried everything from squirrel monkeys and honeybees to sea urchin sperm and gypsy moth eggs. Did you know that transparent fish were the first vertebrates to mate in space or that roundworms were the only survivors of the Columbia disaster? Check out a slideshow of some of the craziest creatures NASA has shot into space.

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