Laika, the first dog in space
In 1957, the Soviets launched Laika into space. Laika was a stray mixed breed picked up on the streets of Moscow and trained with two other dogs. She was placed aboard the satellite Sputnik 2 to become the first animal to orbit the Earth.
Sadly, the Soviets did not devise a return route for Laika. The dog died when her cabin overheated and her remains incinerated when Sputnik returned to Earth. Outrage around the world soon followed. Today, a memorial to Laika and other lost Soviet space heroes stands at Star City, the cosmonaut training facility near Moscow.