Animals are vitally important to our understanding of science. Different species have helped us develop medication, gather data, and better understand our planet.

A few have even traveled to space. 

One such hero has recently had her likeness immortalized in an unlikely way. 

Félicette, the first ever cat in space, is now being recognized for her out-of-this-world achievements in the form of a 5-foot bronze statue, located at the International Space University. 

What makes this story so great is that the memorial statue was a crowdfunded project. Space-cat enthusiast Matthew Guy started a kickstarter campaign back in October 2017. After hitting over $55,000, artist Gill Parker created the sculpture. 

Félicette gave humans a better understanding of the cosmos and although her time in space lasted only 15 minutes, we will remember her forever.