We can all name famous human astronauts, but did you know that over 20 dogs have been to outer space? During the ‘Space Race’ of the 1950’s and 60’s, scientists from the Soviet Union used dogs as test subjects to pioneer space travel. The first pooches to exit the Earth were Tsygan and Dezik, in 1951. This journey, which returned home safely, was what we call a ‘suborbital flight.’ That means that although it traveled into space, it didn’t enter orbit but stayed at the border of the atmosphere. Entering orbit was a lot trickier.
Two other dogs, Belka and Strelka, later made a triumphant return from an orbital adventure. President John F. Kennedy even received one of Strelka’s puppies as a gift. Strelka’s great-great-grand puppies are still alive today. The space dogs proved that humans could indeed survive in space. Now that’s one cool trick!
Fetched from: Cricket Magazine