Dogs in Space: The Amazing True Story of Belka and Strelka

Meet Belka and Strelka, the two dogs who changed the face of space history and became international celebrities in the process!

This quirky and delightful picture book by Vix Southgate and Iris Deppe tells the incredible true story of a couple of heroic dogs; in 1960, two stray dogs were plucked from the streets of Moscow to become space pioneers. Selected from a number of potential canine cosmonauts, Belka and Strelka were put through their paces on the ground, as they practiced rocket simulations and wearing spacesuits, before being launched into outer space as the first ever living creatures to successfully orbit the Earth.

Miraculously, the dogs survived the mission and upon their return embarked on a tour of the USSR, clad in their carefully tailored jumpsuits – one red, one green – becoming international celebrities in the process. As for their legacy, less than a year after their safe return the Soviet space programme felt confident enough to send the first human into space.


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