Korean J Aerosp Environ Med.  2020 Apr;30(1):18-24. 10.46246/KJAsEM.30.1.18.

Review of the History of Animals that Helped Human Life and Safety for Aerospace Medical Research and Space Exploration

  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Inha Research Institute for Aerospace Medicine and Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Inha University Hospital, Incheon, Korea
  • 3Aeromedical Center, Korean Air, Seoul, Korea


In 2019, the Aerospace Medical Association of Korea celebrated its 30th anniversary. On the other side of the world, it was also the 62nd anniversary of Russian launch Sputnik 1 of the world’s first artificial satellite on October 4, 1957. In additionally, the world, especially the United States was shocked, when on November 3, 1957, Sputnik 2 blasted into Earth orbit with a dog named “Laika”; it was the role of veterinarian’s activities for aerospace medical research and exploration. Veterinarians (Vets) are responsible for the health of all the animals for aerospace medicine whether on the ground or in space. Vets can enhance animal and public health and this knowledge of Vets and astronauts can extend their mission durations, go to nearby Earth Asteroids, Mars and other heavenly bodies to study their living and non-living characteristics. This review article is the brief history of the original growth of the veterinarian’s activities for the aerospace medical research, in order to stimulate future strategies for improvements in the space life sciences and exploration.


Veterinarians; Animals; Aerospace medicine
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