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What is the furthest an animal (humans included) has been sent away from Earth?

Not counting bacterial contamination or similar things, because it will make Voyagers the hands down winners again.

I suspect it should have been the Soviet moon turtles, but surely there can be something else.

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    $\begingroup$ Bacteria aren't animals anyway. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Dec 3, 2013 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Phobos-Grunt could have become a claimant: seeds of plants, some species of bacteria, fungi, mold cultures, primitive crustaceans, mosquito larvae — African Chironomidae. But alas... $\endgroup$
    – user54
    Dec 3, 2013 at 23:37

1 Answer 1

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The animals sent farthest from the Earth were the tortoises (and other creatures, see below) on Zond 7. They were sent roughly 407,000 km from the center of the Earth (possibly more depending on whether the distance of Zond 7 from the moon was calculated from the surface or the center).

Regarding what was on board, there is an overview paper "Results of Biological Investigations Undertaken on the Zond-5, Zond-6 and Zond-7 Stations" Gazenko, O. G.; Antipov, V. V.; Parfenov, G. P. Cosmic Research, Vol. 9, p.548 which is a translation from Russian "Kosmicheskie Issledovania" journal. It states that Zond 5 and 7 were identical by animal selection. It included: Turtles, Drosophila, Tradescantia, Allium cepa (onion), dry seeds of Rye, different strains of Chlorella, and E. coli and other biological objects.

Human tissue samples were also on board according to another paper (Zhukov-Verezhnikov, et al.).

Sources:

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  • $\begingroup$ @horsh Since it was the day following the apogee, the lunar distance can't have decreased that much. I have taken that into account in my rough calculation. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Dec 3, 2013 at 22:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regarding what was on board. There is an overview paper "Results of Biological Investigations Undertaken on the Zond-5, Zond-6 and Zond-7 Stations" Gazenko, O. G.; Antipov, V. V.; Parfenov, G. P. Cosmic Research, Vol. 9, p.548 which is a translation from Russian "Kosmicheskie Issledovania" journal. It states that Zond 5 and 7 were identical by animal selection. It included: Turtles, Drosophila, Tradescantia, Allium cepa (onion), dry seeds of Rye, different strains of Chlorella, and E. coli and other biological objects. Other sources suggest there were also some samples of human tissues. $\endgroup$
    – user54
    Dec 3, 2013 at 23:27

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