Guinea Pigs are not famous for their space journeys, but they beat Humans into space by 34 days. The first space traveling Guinea Pig was a Russian one which went into space on March the 9th 1961. It re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after a single orbit, with the deadly heat of re-entry being adsorbed by the capsule's heat shield as it partly burned away, and landed safely by parachute in a remote area of Siberia.
On its heroic flight the Guinea Pig was accompanied by a dog named Chernuska and some mice and reptiles. There was also a dummy called Ivan Ivanovich.
Despite the deadly dangers this pioneer of space survived, it received no recorded award and little recognition by history. I hope its carers at least gave it a good meal after the flight.
The first Human went into space on April the 12th 1961. The first man in space received a well deserved award and was promoted.
man to go into space was the then Major Yuri Gagarin. After the flight he became Colonel Gagarin.
Here is Yuri Gagarin being congratulated by the crew of Gemini 4.