Jan 11, 2015

Laika the Dog, The sad story of stray dog who became one of the first animals in space

Who said that a dog could not change history? Everyone who talks about space exploration recognize the name Laika. A small stray dog from Moscow Street became both the first traveler and victim of the space race.

In 1957, Soviets beat Americans by launching the first ever rocket-satellite into space. It was called Sputnik 1. Just 3 weeks later the Soviets wanted to beat another record; sending a living creature into space. The Soviet president at the time, Nikita Khrushchev gave an extremely tight four-week deadline to his engineers to select the animal, train it for the journey as well as design and create the space rocket the same time. Scientists have no choice other than to send a stray dog into space, because they expected the strays from the frosty streets of Moscow had already acclimated to live in harsh environments, so they would be perfect for space. After testing and preparation, Laika was chosen to be the first living creature sent into space.

Laika was placed in the Sputnik-2 on October 31, three days before launch. On launch day, they place the sensors to measure the vital functions of Laika. After takeoff, reaching the maximum acceleration the ship, Laika's breathing rate increased, and heart rate was 103-240 beats per minute. Laika died within hours from overheating & stress. The genuine cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002.
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