A 1973 study compiled by the RAND Corporation for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) makes special mention of Russia's plan to launch psychics into orbit:
"Regarding precognition, we found only one (unverified) report, by a Soviet investigator, that a program was being planned to train astronauts to 'foresee and to avoid accidents in space.' It was clear from the context that he was referring to precognitive process."
Obviously none of this quite worked out, much like the alleged attempt to test psychic communication by sacrificing a litter of baby rabbits on board a Soviet submarine (also mentioned in the RAND study). The idea was that the mother rabbit, located on the surface, might receive psychic signals from her dying young. Yep, it's kind of monstrous. It's the paranormal. It's magic. And when we hold up the candle of science, we see them for the fictions, cons, legends and lies that they are.
So, to clarify, the Soviet space program depended no more on psychics than it did on giant sandworms - and, by all means, consider the unverified nature of the report cited in the RAND study as well. But the idea that such a paranormal-rooted program was even proposed in the 20th century is thoroughly fascinating. It makes me think, in a quantum sorta way, that there's a universe out there where cosmonauts glimpse the future, Cold War spies wield telekinetic powers and science somehow prospers with the aid of paranormal ability.