Nonetheless, the Soviets undertook a series of experiments with animals aboard the orbiters to test the feasibility of manned space flight. One unlucky dog, Laika, became the first animal to travel into space, but she did not return alive. After similar unsuccessful missions, on August 19,the Soviets launched a pair of female dogs, Belka and Strelka, into orbit aboard a new spacecraft called Vostok. Belka and Strelka became international media darlings when their module safely parachuted down after orbiting Earth for 24 hours.
But did you know that the Soviet Union had a space shuttle, too? When the Soviets caught wind of the American's shuttle program in the s, they worried that the new vehicle was intended to bring the arms race to space. In true Cold War fashion, they began stealing American research for the craft, which, surprisingly, wasn't classified.
By the s, however, the Reagan administration made it harder to obtain, so the Soviets then turned to hacking early government, university and commercial computer databases.
It was one of the first examples of online espionage [source: The Soviets' secret spy program led to the development of their own shuttle, Buran. Despite a nearly identical appearance to the U. Although none of its engines were reusable unlike the American craft, which had three engines built into its tailBuran had a superior rocket system capable of carrying an astonishing 95 tons 86 metric tons of cargo compared to the space shuttle's ton metric-ton capacity.
It was even capable of flying completely by remote control [source: Zak, "Better Space Shuttle" ]. So if Buran was so great, what happened to it? Well, the shuttle didn't make its first flight untila time of great political turmoil in the Soviet Union, which ultimately collapsed in Russian President Boris Yeltsin canceled the program in before it ever took a second flight [source: But it also reveals just how many successes the Soviets had.
They were responsible for first satellite, the first living creature in space, the first lunar probe on the moon, the first man in space, the first woman in space, the first space station and the first remote-controlled rover.
In fact, if they hadn't been such a formidable opponent, the United States might never have been pushed to land a man on the moon. We can only hope that one day a friendlier competition will push humans to Mars and beyond.The Soviet space program's use of secrecy served as both a tool to prevent the leaking of classified information between countries and also to create a mysterious barrier between the space program and the Soviet populace.
Yet, these were the first steps in the space race and set both countries on a headlong rush off Earth. The Soviets won the first round of that race when they put Sputnik 1 into orbit on October 4, The Soviet Union launches the first animal into space—a dog name Laika—aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft.
Laika, part Siberian husky, lived as a stray on the Moscow streets before being enlisted.
The Soviet Union stunned the world on Nov. 3, , with the launch of Sputnik 2.
On board the small satellite was a little dog, Laika, the first animal to orbit Earth. The Soviet Space Program In August the Soviet Union carried out the first successful test of the R7 Semyorka, the world's first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICB).
The R7 was the culmination of research and development based upon the Nazi party's V2 rockets, which had been launched at Allied nations during the Second World War.
The Soviet Union launched the first Sputnik satellite on October, 4 , ushering in the age of space exploration and kicking off an intense space race with the United States.