> Korolev and his team made rapid advances. But even with the full weight of the Soviet economy behind them, they struggled to catch up. The main reason for this was organisational. Whereas the American programme was centrally planned and hierarchically managed, their Soviet counterparts seemed to be almost wilfully chaotic.
A small timeline clarification, Korolev died on January 14th, 1966. He did not live to see this successful flight.
The Zond mission series is notable because it's the first time the Soviets tried an electronic digital computer on their spacecraft.
> In August 1964, trying to catch up with the Apollo program, the Soviet Union launched its own lunar landing project. A new spacecraft code named 7K-L1 (later publicly named Zond) was designed, and its control system included, for the first time in a Soviet spacecraft, an onboard electronic digital computer, the Argon-11S. The design and construction of the Argon-11S was completed in 1968 by the Scientific Research Institute of Electronic Machinery (NIEM) in Moscow.
Interesting question, I did some searching. I guessed they might have done such research with fruit flies , but I can only find one plan to try it for nine generations . I suspect that project never launched because of the end of the space shuttle program. I can’t find a relevant paper by the mentioned researchers in any case. All the other Drosophila research seems limited to a single generation in space.
(It seems like C. Elegans has not been studied in space to the same extent as fruit flies.)