The Russians sent tortoises into space in 1968. You couldn’t make it up. All I remember from the time is being bitterly frustrated when no one came back from low earth orbit as a walking cactus & had to be incinerated after they infested the Houses of Parliament. Life is a continual disappointment for the 1950s science fiction reader. For instance, I already knew the future had let me down by the time this WW2 bomber wasn’t found on the Moon.