Soviet Space Dogs — Four&Sons

Soviet Space Dogs

To celebrate the anniversary of Laika’s journey, Fuel Design has published Soviet Space Dogs, a book comprising 350 illustrations immortalising these icons of the Space Race.


Soviet Space Dogs

When Laika was launched into space on November 3, 1957, aboard Sputnik II—becoming the first living creature to orbit the Earth—the Soviet Union prepared no provisions for her return. The husky-terrier mix, who had been plucked off the streets of Moscow,  died within hours of takeoff. In 1960, a couple more mutts, Belka and Strelka, fared better, returning from their missions to adoring fans. All three canine cosmonauts were hailed as national heroes, their likenesses reproduced on everything from toys and candy wrappers to stamps and cigar bands.

To mark the anniversary  of Laika’s journey, Fuel Design has published Soviet Space Dogs, a book comprising 350 illustrations immortalising these icons of the Space Race. “I saw some Soviet space dog ephemera in auction a few years ago, and was struck not only by the design, but also the fact that I knew so little about dogs’ involvement in the Soviet space programme,” says editor Damon Murray. “We started to collect pieces we liked the look of, with the vague idea that they could work as an alternative way of telling the dogs’ stories. They were  the direct ancestors of the first man in space. In fact, Yuri Gagarin is said to have joked, ‘Am I the first human in space, or the last dog?’ Even if this story is fictitious, it is a reflection of the myth of the space dogs.” SALLY MOUSSAWI

All images courtesy of Fuel Design

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