November 3, 1957
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2.
On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika. Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, on November 3, 1957, and the first to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika. Sputnik 2 was a 4-meter (13 foot) high cone-shaped capsule with a base diameter of 2 meters (6.6 feet). It contained several compartments for radio transmitters, a telemetry system, a programming unit, a regeneration and temperature control system for the cabin, and scientific instruments.