Once there was a dog who went to outer space

She hadn't expected to be in that place

And so sadly she died

(About which the Russians lied)

Do you really think that wins the space race?

Laika is an amazing story about a really wonderful dog and also about how utterly crazy the space race was — both about what people did, and what our ideas of what people could do with science were at that point in time.  You should read it!