Before Yuri Gagarin became the first man to break the bounds of Earth and fly into orbit in 1961, the Soviet Union sent a succession of dogs into space.

A newly discovered diary and folio of notes by the man who selected and trained the canine cosmonauts has revealed the efforts that went into preparing them for their ordeal.Space Dogs

The dogs had to be no longer than 17in, weigh a maximum of 13lb and — with Cold War propaganda considerations to the fore — have a cute face.

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