Belka and Strelka, Russian cosmonaut dogs, 1960 © Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Belka and Strelka – Russia’s canine cosmonauts

In this Science Focus Podcast we talk to Vix Southgate about the dogs Belka and Strelka – the first two creatures to go into orbit and return safely back to Earth.

Belka and Strelka were plucked as strays from the streets of Russia, and were trained up as space dogs. They became the first creatures to enter Earth orbit, and safely return. Once their mission was completed, they became celebrities, and their work paved the way for future space missions.

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In this week’s Science Focus Podcast we talk to space expert Vix Southgate. She was so inspired by the story of Belka and Strelka that she’s written a book for children, Dogs In Space (£12.99, Wren & Rook), to inspire youngsters about these plucky canines. In this episode, she tells us all about doggy spacesuits, Belka and Strelka’s training regimes, and what happened to the dogs after their mission.

Make sure you stay tuned to the end for details on how to win one of five £50 shopping vouchers. *this offer has now ended*

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