Le Chat Stuff: French Cats in Space

“To boldly go where no noms have gone before”

In 1963, France – for some unknown reason – decided it would be a cool idea to send a cat into space. French rocket propulsion engineers interviewed thousands of prospective space chats (or les chatstronauts) for this historic mission.

Unfortunately, this took quite a while, since most French cats can be found eating cheese, drinking wine, and smoking tons of cigarettes at coffeehouses. However, one heroic cat – Felix – was found at the gym doing push-ups, running on a tiny treadmill, and lifting weights. He was the clearly the perfect specimen for spaceflight, and on October 18, 1963, he became the first ever space kitty. Felix was recovered very much alive and meowing.


Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.

Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.

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Emily Carney

Emily Carney

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