Korabl-Sputnik 2 was a Soviet artificial satellite, and the third test flight of the Vostok spacecraft. It was the first spaceflight to send animals into orbit. Launched on 19 August 1960, it paved the way for the first human orbital flight, Vostok 1, which was launched less than eight months later.
Belka and Strelka spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik 2 before safely returning to Earth. They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, two rats, flies and several plants and fungi. All passengers survived. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive. The bodies of Strelka and Belka were both preserved via taxidermy after their deaths and placed on display in the Museum of Cosmonautics
Featured Image: Belka and Strelka / Image: via Pinterest