News

Soviet space suit for dogs auctioned. Watch video of their time in space.

This authentic Soviet spacesuit worn by one of the pair of the world-famous, first-ever dogs in space, Belka (Whitey) and Strelka (Little Arrow), was sold at an auction on Saturday. 

One lucky fan of Soviet space memorabilia was able to buy it for just 14,000 euros (S$23,000).

The four-legged, full body suit was used in the training of the two dogs during the mission Sputnik 5 in 1960, says the Auctionata website.

 

"This is a brown lace-up full body suit with breathing apparatus. The dog space suit can be adjusted to the size of the dog at body and legs with strings. There is a ring in the front for the helmet’s insertion,” says the description under the lot.

“The tube for the oxygen supply runs along the lower side of the suit.”

The suit was made by RSC Energia, the largest Russian manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components.

A postcard of the dogs which is at the Soviet Era Museum. 

Historic space pioneers

Soviet space dogs played an important role in the preparation of space missions. You can see more pictures here

In the fifties, Russian scientists developed this type of high pressure suits to test the effects of low gravity and high-speed launches on dogs. 

While Russian scientists preferred dogs to primates for their tests because dogs could sit still for a longer time, Americans used chimpanzees due of their similarity to humans. 

See the video above for footage of the dogs while they were alive. 

Fun fact

Strelka's puppy, Pushinka, “fluffy” in Russian,ended up in the White House during President John F Kennedy's time.

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave the dog as a gift to first lady Jacqueline.

Some Americans were suspicious of the gift and believed the dog might be wearing a listening device.

Eventually, Pushinka won everybody over, especially Charlie, the Kennedy’s Welsh terrier, who became the father of​ her "pupniks".

Pushinka with her "pupniks". Photo: JFK Library
 

Source: RT, YouTube, JFK Library, Soviet Era Museum

animalsSpace Travel