While the US used chimpanzees in their space race tests, Russian scientists chose dogs, because of their willingness to sit still for long periods. Some of the tests involved strapping dogs into capsules and launching them to a height of 80 kilometres. The capsules then returned to Earth by parachute.
The dog Laika became the first animal to orbit the Earth in 1957, dying from stress and overheating around 6 hours into the flight. Belka and Strelka were luckier: in 1960, they became the first dogs to return to Earth safely, having spent a day in space.
Strelka subsequently gave birth to six puppies, one of which was presented as a gift to John F. Kennedy’s family.
The suit was auctioned at Auctionata on September 13, 2017 with start price at €4,000.