The dogs reached space on July 22, 1951, but did not orbit. They were the first mammals successfully recovered from spaceflight. After Laika, the Soviet Union sent two more dogs, Belka and Strelka, into space on Aug. 19, 1960. The animals were the first to actually orbit and return alive.
Did NASA send a dog to space to die?
These two dogs were the first living higher organisms successfully recovered from a spaceflight. Both space dogs survived the flight, although one would die on a subsequent flight. Laika died during the flight, as was intended because the technology to return from orbit had not yet been developed.
Were any animals left in space?
After humans landed on the moon in 1969, animals in space no longer made the headlines, but spacecraft still carried biological payloads, including rabbits, turtles, insects, spiders, fish, jellyfish, amoebae and algae.
Did NASA leave monkeys in space?
Overall, thirty-two non-human primates flew in the space program; none flew more than once. Numerous backup primates also went through the programs but never flew. Monkeys and apes from several species were used, including rhesus macaque, crab-eating macaque, squirrel monkeys, pig-tailed macaques, and chimpanzees.