Made from nylon, cotton, rubber, and aluminum, this USSR dog spacesuit is thought to have been worn by Belka and Strelka, the initial two dogs to return from space again in 1960. It had been used for the USSR’s Korabl-Sputnik 2mission through the training stage, where the dogs strapped into capsules wearing the suits and launched 262,500 feet in the air before returning to the floor on parachutes. The practice was supposed to test the effects of reduced gravity and high-speed launches on the animals.
While the US used chimpanzees within their area race tests, Russian scientists picked dogs, because of their willingness to sit still for extended periods. Some of the tests included strapping puppies into capsules and launching them into a height of 80 kilometers. The capsules then delivered back to Earth by parachute.
The dog Laika became the first creature to orbit the Earth in 1957, expiring from stress and overheating around 6 hours to the flight.
Strelka then gave birth to six puppies, among which was presented as a present to John F. Kennedy‘s family.