First dog in space
Dezik, Tsygan
first first
Russian Federation ()

The first dogs in space were two female Moscow strays – known as Dezik and Tsygan – who had been taken in by researchers from the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the early 1950s. On 22 July 1951, Dezik and Tsygan were loaded into a pressurized capsule and launched into space on top of an R-1V rocket (a Russian-built version of the German V-2 ballistic missile). They reached an altitude of around 110 km (68.3 mi) and experienced roughly four minutes of weightlessness before returning to Earth by parachute. Both dogs were unharmed by the experience.

Sadly, Dezik was killed less than a week later during her second spaceflight – with a dog called Lisa – when the parachute on their capsule failed to deploy. After Dezik's death, Tsygan was adopted by the Russian physicist Anatoli Blagonravov and lived out the rest of her long life as a family pet. She went on to have two litters of puppies.

The more famous Laika – the first dog in orbit – made her trip into space six years later on 3 November 1957.