Soviet R-2A misile, 1950s.

© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society


'This is one of the R-2A misiles, thirteen of which were launched between 1957 and 1960. Many of them carried biological containers with dogs to altitudes as high as 200 kilometres. A similar container was used to carry Layka, the first living being to reach orbit, into orbit on Sputnik 2. For a brief period, Sergey Korolev, the father of the Soviet space program, also planned to use the R-2A to launch humans on vertical hops into space.'

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