The Zambian Space Program
Let's close this out with one of the most absurd space programs that humanity has ever seen. The 1960s were a turbulent time in Africa, with many formerly colonial countries reverting to native rule. One example was North Rhodesia, which became Zambia in 1964. The country's new president, Kenneth Kaunda, wanted to show that Africa could be a player in the space race as well, and a local businessman named Edward Makuka Nkoloso led the way. His plan? Launch an aluminum rocket from a catapult-styled firing system all the way to Mars, with ten Zambians, a girl and a cat aboard. Needless to say, the launch never took place, but you have to admire their attitude.