On August 20, 1960, Soviet space dogs Belka and Strelka returned to Earth safely from their orbital flight. They were accompanied by a grey rabbit, 42 mice, two rats, flies and several plants and fungi. All passengers survived. They were the first Earth-born creatures to go into orbit and return alive. All creatures spent 25 hours in space, circling the Earth 17 times and bringing back valuable data on how spaceflight affects animal physiology.