The first creature to orbit the moon was neither man nor monkey, but a pair of Soviet turtles. The tortoises along with a passenger list of mealworms, wine flies, seeds and bacteria were part of a biological payload launched by the Soviet Union in September 1968.
After the Zond 5 spacecraft returned to Earth, the animal comrades were retrieved from the Indian Ocean and found not to have a scratch on them; the shells probably helped. They had, however, lost 10% of their weight, although researchers didn't observe a permanent decrease in appetite.
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