The Russian space program was surprisingly humanitarian when it came to the dogs who were launched into orbit. The aim was to return the canine passenger back to earth, alive and in good health. They had one causality in the whole program where about a dozen dogs experienced orbital flight.
Given that the Russian space program launched about a dozen dogs into space, along with numerous mice and gerbils, suffering just one casualty is very praiseworthy. And even that one was an intentional destruction by the Russian orbital flight directors.
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