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5. Salyut
Top 5 soviet space missions
Salyut (fireworks display) was one of the first manned space outposts. The mission went through its fair share of struggle with multiple Salyuts failing to launch, but Salyut 6 and 7 became the first manned space stations in the orbit. Salyut's success led to the development of the Mir space station.

4. Surface of Venus
Top 5 soviet space missions 
In 1975, the Soviet Union became the first nation to get past the thick cloud cover of Venus to obtain photos of the surface. Through the 1980s, the Venera probes relayed even more photos of Venus, which are still studied today.

3. Luna 2
top 5 soviet space missions
On September 14 1959, the Soviet Luna-2 spacecraft was intentionally crashed into the Moon's surface, becoming the first ever object to touch down on the lunar surface. Later Luna spacecraft successfully took photos of the Moon's far side.

2. First manned mission
Top 5 soviet space missions
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space on board a Vostok (East) spacecraft. One of the many firsts in the former Soviet space program.

1. Sputnik
top 5 soviet space missions 
The Soviet Union officially kicked of the Space Age with the launch of the Sputnik (Satellite). The Sputnik was successfully flown to its destination on an R-7 rocket on October 4, 1957. Sputnik-2 followed up on this success, making a dog named Laika the first living thing in space. 

Written by: Denis Ivanov

Source: Space
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