Back in 1960, two canines made history by surviving through a space trip. The dogs were later named Strelka, meaning “little arrow” and Belka, meaning “squirrel.” The Science Museum in London recently announced its plans to launch an exhibit dedicated toward the celebration of this historical mission.
The new exhibition has been named "Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age," which intends to remember the mission in which Strelka and Belka were selected by the scientists at the Soviet Union for an orbit around the Earth. The two mongrel dogs were accompanied by 42 mice, a gray rabbit, flies, 2 rats and a number of different plants and fungi.
All of the creatures boarded the spacecraft made by the Soviet Union, called the Korable-Sputnik 2, or Sputnik 5 on Aug. 19 in 1960. This was the second attempt by the researchers to put an Earth-born creature into its orbit. The first Sputnik 2 mission had safely put a dog, named Laika, in an orbit around Earth. However, the dog died after a few hours of being in the space because of stress and overheating.
During the first successful historic mission, Strelka, Belka and all other creatures revolved around the Earth for 18 times. During this mission, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin also made history by becoming the first man to safely complete a trip to the space.
The Tech Times reported that the exhibition in the U.K. will display a collection of the most important Russian-made spacecraft and artifacts. In addition, the exhibition also “features an ejection seat and spacesuit specifically designed for canine cosmonauts.”
The curator of the science museum, Doug Millard, said that successful return of the two dogs back on Earth marked a significant success in the history of the Soviet Union's manned-spaceflight program. The Science Museum exhibition is scheduled to open on Sept. 18, 2015, and will continue to run until March 13, 2016.