Jul 03 2013

Belka and Strelka

They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive.

Belka and Strelka, two stray dogs recruited from the streets of Moscow, spent 24 hours in space on August 19, 1960. They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, 2 rats, flies and several plants and fungi, all of which returned to earth safe and sound.

Some descendants of Strelka are actually still living, including those who descend from one of her puppies that was given as a gift to President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline.