Laika Becomes the First Living Animal to Enter Orbit (1957): The Soviet Union and the United States were in a very heated competition after World War II. Part of this competition was over control of space. As part of this "space race," the Soviets succeeded in putting up the first satellite into space in October 1957. Working hastily, the Soviets launched their second satellite (Sputnik 2) on November 3, 1957 with a living animal (Laika the dog) on board. Laika lived through the launch, but died in space since no return plan had been created for her.
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