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Laika, the Space Dog

Laika in her practice capsule.

She was a mongrel female, approximately three years old, eleven pounds.  She had several nicknames, but the one that stuck was Laika meaning "Barker."  As a space dog, Laika was launched in the Russian spaceship, Sputnik 2, on November 3, 1957.  She was the first animal to orbit the Earth. 
 
The canine pride of Russia was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow, but her historic launch into space paved the way for human spaceflight.  Little Laika was called upon by her country to satisfy Khrushchev's demands, an orbital canine flight.  The Soviets had sent over 12 dogs into sub-orbital space during the decade of the 50s, but Sputnik 2 changed all of that.  Aside from the primary mission of sending a living, breathing passenger into space, Sputnik 2 also contained instrumentation for measuring solar radiation and cosmic rays.  Because of the name given the Soviet space mission, the American press dubbed Laika "Mutnick." 
 
Those scientists and canine experts familiar with Laika say her true pedigree is unknown but reveal that she appeared part husky or other Nordic breed mixed with some terrier.  Her temperament was kind and easy going, never quarreling with other dogs.  Before the launch, Laika had to go through training and learn to eat special foods.  She had a specially designed space harness she had to get used to, and learn to relax in the confined spaces of the spaceship.  Because of her sweet disposition, one of the scientists took Laika home to play with his children before the launch. 
 
Laika did not live through her trip into outer space, but she gave her life so that scientists could understand the effects of space travel on a living, breathing animal.  Laika has been immortalized on a Romanian postage stamp with her picture and a caption that reads "Laika, first traveller into Cosmos."  On April 11, 2008, the Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika and the fact that she sacrificed her life.  The monument is near the military research facility in Moscow and features a dog standing on top of a rocket.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika

http://www.novareinna.com/bridge/laika.html 

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Comments (2):

Anonyomous wrote: i love u laika

karen wrote: To to all the loving dogs that are heros

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