Laika the space dog: First living creature in orbit

Laika was the first living creature to orbit Earth. On Nov. 3, 1957, the Soviet Union lofted a dog named Laika aboard the satellite Sputnik 2.

However, Laika was not the first animal in space. That distinction goes to some fruit flies that the United States launched on a suborbital mission in February 1947. Despite her fame, she also was not the first dog in space; the Soviet Union launched two dogs named Dezik and Tsygan in 1951.