On the 18th of October 1963, Félicette the cat blasted off from a base in Hammaguir, Algeria. Her short flight included 5 minutes of weightlessness and she reached a height of 157 kilometres before the capsule parachuted back down to Earth.
While other space-faring animals, including Laika the dog and Ham the chimpanzee, have received recognition for their contributions to spaceflight research, Félicette has been forgotten. Matthew Serge Guy, a Creative Director at Anomaly, wanted to right the wrongs that had been done to her and secure her place in history. And we wanted to help.
We launched a Kickstarter asking for £40,000 to fund the creation of a statue commemorating Félicette in Paris. Using only PR to drive sales, we smashed our funding target. During the campaign, news of Félicette’s heroism reached over 5 million people, with widespread coverage appearing across the globe, including the Guardian, Le Figaro, France 24, Huffington Post (US, Japan and France), Fox News, CBC, Metro, The Times and Vice (US and Aus).