first animal in space

November 3 1957, The Soviet Union launches the first animal into space—a dog name Laika—aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft.

Laika, lived as a stray on the Moscow streets before being enlisted into the Soviet space program. Laika survived for several days as a passenger in the USSR’s second artificial Earth satellite, kept alive by a sophisticated life-support system. Electrodes attached to her body provided scientists on the ground with important information about the biological effects of space travel. She died after the batteries of her life-support system ran down.



(Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957. Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika’s mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, and therefore Laika’s survival was not expected. Some scientists believed humans would be unable to survive the launch or the conditions of outer space, so engineers viewed flights by animals as a necessary precursor to human missions. The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure micro-gravity, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

Laika died within hours from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002; instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six or, as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion. On April 11, 2008, Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika. A small monument in her honour was built near the military research facility in Moscow that prepared Laika’s flight to space. It features a dog standing on top of a rocket. She also appears on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow. Read More


The Soviet space program is the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the Soviet Union or U.S.S.R.) from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991. Over its sixty-year history, this primarily classified military program was responsible for a number of pioneering accomplishments in space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (1957), first satellite (Sputnik-1), first animal in space (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2), first human in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1), first woman in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6), first spacewalk (cosmonaut Alexey Leonov on Voskhod 2), first Moon impact (Luna 2), first image of the far side of the moon (Luna 3) and unmanned lunar soft landing (Luna 9), first space rover, first space station, and first interplanetary probe.


Советская космонавтика относится к ракетной технике и программам исследования космоса, проводимым Советским Союзом (СССР) с 1930-х по 1991 гг.
СССР был первой страной, которая осуществила удачный запуск и вывод на околоземную орбиту искусственного спутника Земли.
Спутник-1 — первый искусственный спутник Земли, был запущен на орбиту в СССР 4 октября 1957 года.
Спутник-2 — второй космический аппарат, запущенный на орбиту Земли 3 ноября 1957, впервые выведший в космос живое существо — собаку Лайку.

So, today is anniversary of the day Laika went into space.

I was going to write a longer post about this with pictures and info, but reading about it makes me extremely sad and I don’t want to deal with that today.  Feel free to do your own research.  Also, here’s a cool picture that I believe is actually a crop of a postcard.

ALSO, here is an appropriately melancholy song about Laika.
I’m going to go do something completely unrelated to this now.

I’ve lived in two centuries, through two wars, including the longest in US history, the rise of the personal use of the internet, the cellphone, and the computer. To the contrast of pay phones being the primary use of mobile telephone, to now watching YouTube on the toilet. The first cloned animal. I’ve seen the fall of the twin towers, a space shuttle disaster, the passing of the Patriot act and many other laws that almost make our bill of rights completely void. An assault weapon ban come and go, multiple war criminals and traitors. I’m not even in my mid twenties and these are all the things off the top of my head I could think of.