anon dog

The Soviet Union launches small dogs on sub-orbital sounding rockets. There were six launches during this period, using nine dogs, of which four died.
Sergei Korolev, Chief Designer of the Soviet space program, proposes the launch of an artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, using the same ICBM being developed for military purposes.
baikonur construction
Construction begins on the Baikonur Cosmodrome, a secret Soviet launch site in the Kazakstan desert. More than 200 km from the town of Baikonur, the deliberate mismatch between the name and location was for security purposes.
rocket dog
The Soviet Union launches twelve more dogs on sub-orbital sounding rockets, of which four died. Rather than riding in pressurized travel cabins, dogs during this period wore specially designed "spacesuits" with round, transparent helmets.
sputnik 1
Oct. 4 - The Soviet Union shocks the world with its launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. The shiny ball with four antenna orbits the Earth, emitting "beep-beep" from its radio transmitter, until the batteries run down three weeks later.
khrushchev w phone
Oct. 10 - Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev tells Chief Designer Sergei Korolev to prepare another Sputnik right away, to be launched in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution on November 7.
r7on rail
Oct. 18 - Parts of the new R-7 launch vehicle and Sputnik 2 arrive by rail at the Bailonur Cosmodrome. Sergei Korolev flies from Moscow to supervise final assembly and testing.
Oct. 25 - Khrushchev announces the upcoming space dog launch on Moscow Radio. The same day, in a live report from the Institute of Aviation and Space Medicine, Laika (still called Kudryavka) barks for the radio audience.
Oct. 31 - Laika's trainer Oleg Gazenko transports Laika by air from Moscow to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. She is locked in her space capsule four days prior to launch. One eyewitness to the event said workers kissed her on the nose before sealing her cabin.
sputnik 2
Nov. 3 - Sputnik 2 is launched and reaches Earth orbit with Laika on board. She achieves weightlessness, barks and eats, but soon dies due to problems with her space capsule.
On April 14, Sputnik 2, with Laika's remains still on board, re-enters the Earth's atmosphere as a streaking star and disintegrates.
belka strelka
The Soviets send Belka and Strelka into Earth orbit and successfully recover them. Because they were the first space travelers to return to Earth, they became wildly popular in the USSR and elsewhere.
yuri gagarin
Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel into space, is launched aboard Vostok 1 on April 12. He orbits the Earth once and returns safely. Oleg Gazenko, who trained the space dogs, also prepared early cosmonauts for their missions.
oleg gazenko
Laika's trainer Oleg Gazenko, speaking at a Moscow News Conference: "the more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it...we did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog."
space capsule
New evidence presented at the World Space Conference in Houston, Texas, by Dr. Dmitry Malashenkov confirms that Laika almost certainly died from extreme heat and humidity in her cabin, and from associated stress, during the first day of her flight.
laika memorial
On the fiftieth anniversary of her historic flight, Moscow officials unveil a memorial to Laika and her mission.