On October 18, 1963, on the French rocket Véronique AGI 47, Félicette, a black and white female cat found on the streets of Paris, was launched into space. The non-orbital flight lasted fifteen minutes, reaching a height of 97 miles. Félicette was safely recovered after the capsule parachuted to Earth. The British press of the time dubbed her the "Astrocat".
Head rubbing, a behavior cats learn as kittens with their mother, has several motivations. It's an affectionate gesture that can also be used as a form of greeting. The cat is also marking you with his scent in a show of affiliation. It's a cat's way of marking its people and its environment.