In the 1960s, there were three main groups trying to win the space race. There was the Soviet Union, which was quick out of the gate with the first satellite and man in space, but faded in the stretch to land someone on the moon. There was the United States, which was more or less neck-and-neck with the USSR. And of course there was Zambia.
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Zambia: fucking awesome since forever.
What? You don't remember Zambia's contributions to the next frontier?
That's understandable: Zambia's National Academy of Science, Space Research, and Philosophy didn't have little niceties like "financial backing" or "minimal safety conditions." But they did have Edward Nkoloso. Nkoloso was a schoolteacher who saw the space race and thought, "Looks like fun." So, practically on a lark, he grabbed a bunch of bored soldiers, a woman (dubbed "Spacegirl," no less), and two of the most ambitious felines he could find and began to train them with the best facilities their meager U.N. financial support could afford. Which, considering the U.N. never agreed to fund them, wasn't much.
Who needs money when you've got moxie?
For weightlessness training, they went into the "anti-gravity simulator," aka the aspiring astronauts stuffed themselves into an oil drum and rolled down a hill. And when that was out of commission, just cutting the ropes on the swing set right as they hit their apex would work, too. They relentlessly drilled handstands, because, possibly due to a translation error, Nkoloso thought that was the only way they could walk around up there. However, Nkoloso did manage to put together preliminary rocket designs that actually didn't look half bad. And "not half bad" is more than good enough to venture a risky space launch, apparently, so the agency planned one for Independence Day 1964.