Lifestyle

The '50s-Era Soviet Space Suit for Your Dog

Frankly, unless it's Halloween or freezing cold outside, we're averse to the notion of dressing dogs up in little outfits. That was until we learned they're auctioning off a real deal, '50s-era Soviet canine space suit that's actually been in orbit.

Consider us converts.

Unlike the Americans—who rocketed chimps into the great beyond to test the effects of low gravity and high-speed launches before manned missions were green-lit—the Soviets' animal of choice to conduct the same tests were dogs, mostly because they were inclined to sit still and not rattle the figurative cage. How Soviet.

An exceptionally rare relic of the space race, the adjustable, lace-up, high-pressure suit comes complete with a small breathing apparatus used to adorably pump oxygen into the (not-included) helmet.

Records indicate that it was worn by one of the two dogs that participated in Sputnik 5—Belka or Strelka. They were not only the first two Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and survive, but the latter begat a litter of puppies, one of which was presented as a pet to a young Caroline Kennedy by Khrushchev in 1961. Whoa, history.


Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He hasn't made it to space. Yet.