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Laika the Dog Launched into Outer Space (1957) Options
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Laika the Dog Launched into Outer Space (1957)

Soviet scientists found her wandering the streets of Moscow. Nicknamed Laika, or "Barker," the little stray dog was recruited because she had already learned to withstand hunger and cold—two things she might experience in space. After intensive training, Laika became the first animal to be launched into orbit. Though she survived the launch—and even ate some food while in orbit—her capsule was not designed for a return trip. Within hours, she overheated and died. How long did the capsule orbit? More...
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 1:54:36 AM

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Laika the Dog Launched into Outer Space (1957)
Soviet scientists found her wandering the streets of Moscow. Nicknamed Laika, or "Barker," the little stray dog was recruited because she had already learned to withstand hunger and cold—two things she might experience in space. After intensive training, Laika became the first animal to be launched into orbit. Though she survived the launch—and even ate some food while in orbit—her capsule was not designed for a return trip.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 3:12:33 AM

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In 1957, Laika became the first animal launched into orbit, paving the way for human spaceflight. This photograph shows her in a flight harness.
Other appellation(s) Kudryavka
Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed Mongrel, possibly part-husky and part-terrier
Sex female
Born c. 1954
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died November 3, 1957
Sputnik 2, in geocentric orbit
Nation from Soviet Union
Known for First animal to orbit the earth
Owner Soviet space program
Weight 5 kg (11 lb)
Romanian stamp from 1959 with Laika (the caption reads "Laika, first traveller into Cosmos")

Laika (Russian: Лайка, meaning "Barker"; 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.

As 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, there was no expectation of Laika's survival. 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.[1] Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was originally named Kudryavka (Russian: Кудрявка Little Curly). She underwent training with two other dogs, and was eventually selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.

Laika died within hours after launch from overheating,[2] possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload.[3] 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,[4] or as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion. The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure weightlessness, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.

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 which prepared Laika's flight to space. It features a dog standing on top of a rocket.[1][5]
Sputnik 2

After the success of Sputnik 1, Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, wanted a spacecraft launched on November 7, 1957, the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. A more sophisticated satellite was already under construction, but it would not be ready until December; this satellite would later become Sputnik 3.[6]

To meet the November deadline, a new craft would have to be built. Khrushchev specifically wanted his engineers to deliver a "space spectacular," a mission that would repeat the triumph of Sputnik I, stunning the world with Soviet prowess. The planners settled on an orbital flight with a dog. Soviet rocket engineers had long intended a canine orbit before attempting human spaceflight; since 1951, they had lofted 12 dogs into sub-orbital space on ballistic flights, working gradually toward an orbital mission possibly some time in 1958. To satisfy Khrushchev's demands, the orbital canine flight was expedited for the November launch.[7]

According to Russian sources, the official decision to launch Sputnik 2 was made on October 10 or 12, leaving the team only four weeks to design and build the spacecraft.[8] Sputnik 2, therefore, was something of a rush job, with most elements of the spacecraft being constructed from rough sketches. Aside from the primary mission of sending a living passenger into space, Sputnik 2 also contained instrumentation for measuring solar radiation and cosmic rays.[6]

The craft was equipped with a life-support system consisting of an oxygen generator and devices to avoid oxygen poisoning and to absorb carbon dioxide. A fan, designed to activate whenever the cabin temperature exceeded 15 °C (59 °F), was added to keep the dog cool. Enough food (in a gelatinous form) was provided for a seven-day flight, and the dog was fitted with a bag to collect waste. A harness was designed to be fitted to the dog, and there were chains to restrict her movements to standing, sitting or lying down; there was no room to turn around in the cabin. An electrocardiogram monitored heart rate and further instrumentation tracked respiration rate, maximum arterial pressure and the dog's movements.[2][9]

Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow. Soviet scientists chose to use Moscow strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger.[7] This specimen was an eleven-pound[10] mongrel female, approximately three years old. Another account reported that she weighed about 6 kg (13 lb). Soviet personnel gave her several names and nicknames, among them Kudryavka (Russian for Little Curly), Zhuchka (Little Bug) and Limonchik (Little Lemon). Laika, the Russian name for several breeds of dogs similar to the husky, was the name popularized around the world. The American press dubbed her Muttnik (mutt + suffix -nik) as a pun on Sputnik,[11] or referred to her as Curly.[12] Her true pedigree is unknown, although it is generally accepted that she was part husky or other Nordic breed, and possibly part terrier.[7] A Russian magazine described her temperament as phlegmatic, saying that she did not quarrel with other dogs.[10] Vladimir Yazdovsky, who led the program of test dogs used on rockets, in a later publication wrote that “Laika was quiet and charming”.[13]

The Soviet Union and United States had previously sent animals only on sub-orbital flights.[14] Three dogs were trained for the Sputnik 2 flight: Albina, Mushka, and Laika.[15] Soviet space-life scientists Vladimir Yazdovsky and Oleg Gazenko trained the dogs.[16]

To adapt the dogs to the confines of the tiny cabin of Sputnik 2, they were kept in progressively smaller cages for periods up to 20 days. The extensive close confinement caused them to stop urinating or defecating, made them restless, and caused their general condition to deteriorate. Laxatives did not improve their condition, and the researchers found that only long periods of training proved effective. The dogs were placed in centrifuges that simulated the acceleration of a rocket launch and were placed in machines that simulated the noises of the spacecraft. This caused their pulses to double and their blood pressure to increase by 30–65 torr. The dogs were trained to eat a special high-nutrition gel that would be their food in space.[9]

Before the launch, one of the scientists took Laika home to play with his children. In a book chronicling the story of Soviet space medicine, Dr. Vladimir Yazdovsky wrote, "I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live."[17]
Preflight preparations

Vladimir Yazdovsky made the final selection of dogs and their designated roles.[18] Laika was to be the "flight dog" - a sacrifice to science on a one-way mission to space. [18] Albina, who already flew twice on a high-altitude test rocket, was to act as Laika's backup. The third dog Mushka was a "control dog" - she was to stay on the ground and be used to test instrumentation and life support.[9][14]

Before leaving for the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Yazdovsky and Gazenko conducted surgery on the dogs - they routed the cables from the transmitters to the sensors that would measure breathing, pulse and blood-pressure.

Because the existing airstrip at Turatam near the cosmodrome was small, the dogs and crew had to be first flown aboard a Tu-104 plane to Tashkent. From there, a smaller and lighter Il-14 plane took them to Turatam. Training of dogs continued upon arrival, one after another they were placed in the capsules to get familiar with the feeding system.[18]

According to a NASA document, Laika was placed in the capsule of the satellite on October 31, 1957—three days before the start of the mission.[9] At that time of year the temperatures at the launch site were extremely cold, and a hose connected to a heater was used to keep her container warm. Two assistants were assigned to keep a constant watch on Laika before launch. Just prior to liftoff on November 3, 1957 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Laika's fur was sponged in a weak alcohol solution and carefully groomed, while iodine was painted onto the areas where sensors would be placed to monitor her bodily functions.[19]

One of the technicians preparing the capsule before final liftoff states that "after placing Laika in the container and before closing the hatch, we kissed her nose and wished her bon voyage, knowing that she would not survive the flight."[18]

The exact time of the liftoff varies from source to source and is mentioned as 05:30:42 Moscow Time or 07:22 Moscow Time.[18] At peak acceleration Laika's respiration increased to between three and four times the pre-launch rate.[9] The sensors showed her heart rate was 103 beats/min before launch and increased to 240 beats/min during the early acceleration. After reaching orbit, Sputnik 2's nose cone was jettisoned successfully; however the "Block A" core did not separate as planned, preventing the thermal control system from operating correctly. Some of the thermal insulation tore loose, raising the cabin temperature to 40 °C (104 °F).[20] After three hours of weightlessness, Laika's pulse rate had settled back to 102 beats/min,[21] three times longer than it had taken during earlier ground tests, an indication of the stress she was under. The early telemetry indicated that Laika was agitated but eating her food.[20] After approximately five to seven hours into the flight, no further signs of life were received from the spacecraft.[9]

The Soviet scientists had planned to euthanize Laika with a poisoned serving of food. For many years, the Soviet Union gave conflicting statements that she had died either from oxygen starvation[4] when the batteries failed, or that she had been euthanized. Many rumors circulated about the exact manner of her death. In 1999, several Russian sources reported that Laika had died when the cabin overheated on the fourth day.[8] In October 2002, Dimitri Malashenkov, one of the scientists behind the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died by the fourth circuit of flight from overheating. According to a paper he presented to the World Space Congress in Houston, Texas, "It turned out that it was practically impossible to create a reliable temperature control system in such limited time constraints."[2]

Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik 2 disintegrated—along with Laika's remains—during re-entry on April 14, 1958.[22]
NASA named this soil target on Mars after Laika during the Mars Exploration Rover mission

Due to the overshadowing issue of the Soviet vs. US Space Race, the ethical issues raised by this experiment went largely unaddressed for some time. As newspaper clippings from 1957 show,[23] the press was focused on reporting the political perspective, while the health and retrieval—or lack thereof—of Laika was hardly mentioned. Only later were there discussions regarding the fate of the dog—which some initially insisted be called Curly rather than Laika.[citation needed]

Sputnik 2 was not designed to be retrievable, and Laika had always been intended to die.[8] The mission sparked a debate across the globe on the mistreatment of animals and animal testing in general to advance science.[16] In the United Kingdom, the National Canine Defence League called on all dog owners to observe a minute's silence, while the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) received protests even before Radio Moscow had finished announcing the launch. Animal rights groups at the time called on members of the public to protest at Soviet embassies.[24] Others demonstrated outside the United Nations in New York;[16] nevertheless, laboratory researchers in the U.S. offered some support for the Soviets, at least before the news of Laika's death.[16][25]

In the Soviet Union, there was less controversy. Neither the media, books in the following years, nor the public openly questioned the decision to send a dog into space. It was not until 1998, after the collapse of the Soviet regime, that Oleg Gazenko, one of the scientists responsible for sending Laika into space, expressed regret for allowing her to die:

Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog.[22][23]

In other Warsaw Pact countries open criticism of the soviet space program was difficult because of political censorship, however there were notable cases of criticism in Polish scientific circles. A Polish scientific periodical "Kto, Kiedy, Dlaczego" published in 1958, discussed the mission of Sputnik 2. In the periodical's section dedicated to astronautics Krzysztof Boruń described not bringing Laika back to earth alive as "regrettable" and "undoubtably a great loss for science".[26]

Laika is memorialized in the form of a statue and plaque at Star City, Russia, the Russian Cosmonaut training facility.[27] Future space missions carrying dogs would be designed to be recovered. The only other dogs to die in a Soviet space mission were Pchyolka and Mushka, who died when Korabl-Sputnik 3 was purposely destroyed with an explosive charge upon re-entry in order to prevent foreign powers from inspecting the capsule due to a wayward atmospheric reentry trajectory on December 1, 1960.
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with my pleasure
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 7:54:31 AM

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Kinda inhumane. Poor Gagarin was in the same state, BTW.
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 7:57:48 AM

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Soviet scientists found her wandering the streets of Moscow. Nicknamed Laika, or "Barker," the little stray dog was recruited because she had already learned to withstand hunger and cold—two things she might experience in space. After intensive training, Laika became the first animal to be launched into orbit. Though she survived the launch—and even ate some food while in orbit—her capsule was not designed for a return trip. Within hours, she overheated and died. How long did the capsule orbit?

with my pleasure
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 8:01:08 AM

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Joined: 4/19/2017
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Tech & Science

Animals in Space: How Russian Dog Laika Became the World's First Astronaut
By Damien Sharkov On 11/2/17 at 10:50 AM
Soviet Union
Space Exploration
Space Race

A month after the Soviet Union made one of its greatest political and scientific coups with the launch of Earth’s first manmade satellite in 1957, Moscow planned to be the first to send a living creature into space. Though they managed to make cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin the first human in outer space four years later, he was not the first living creature to make the journey.

Before Gagarin's flight came mongrel pup Laika, whose journey into orbit took place exactly 60 years ago on Friday.

Kicking off the space race with the U.S. with an early triumph in October 1957, when the rotund Sputnik satellite began its orbit of the Earth, the Kremlin was keen to maintain momentum. While the small, antennae covered ball was little more than a honing beacon, designed to survive in Earth’s orbit, its successor, Sputnik 2, had to do all that and accommodate a living creature inside it.

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Soviet scientists had already flown dogs into space, launching Tsygan and Dezikin in August 1951, and both returned alive. However, the pair flew suborbital, making the repetition of Sputnik’s flight into orbit with another canine onboard a new challenge altogether. Testing space travel capabilities was becoming commonplace at the time, with the U.S. having already opted for using monkey test subjects, while France subsequently sent a cat and China launched rats into space.

Time was also pressing as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had set a November deadline for the launch of Sputnik 2. Eager to make the most of the first satellite’s breakthrough in October, Khruschev wanted scientists to ensure that by the Soviet Union’s state holiday marking the Bolshevik Revolution, the Kremlin had another new accomplishment to celebrate, Russia’s Argumenti i Fakty newspaper recalls.

Sputnik 2 was considerably larger than its 141 pound-predecessor, weighing in at nearly half a ton (1,120lbs). The space inside was also very tight, with engineers estimating that the spacecraft’s only crew member could not be heavier than 7 kilograms (15lbs.), according to Russia’s online space encyclopedia Astronaut.

Around 10 dogs were handpicked after fitting the size requirement, and Laika was among the three deemed calmest and most suitable for the mission. Part of the training involved testing the dogs’ readiness to stay still in increasingly confined cages over the course of two weeks.

11_02_First_dog_in_space A picture taken on November 1 shows an effigy of the dog Laika, the first living creature in space, inside a replica of satellite Sputnik II at the Central House of Aviation and Cosmonautics in Moscow. Three and a half years before Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, a dog called Laika was in 1957 the first living being to orbit the Earth. Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

The casting was not solely scientific, as Laika beat out her nearest rival, Mukha, thanks to being more “photogenic,” Argumenti i Fakty reported. Mukha instead became the test subject of Laika’s life support during ground tests.

However, the Soviet leadership's desire for a speedy achievement meant Laika’s return journey was doomed from the start. Scientists were already breaking new ground in building systems to support life onboard Sputnik 2. Provisions to ensure the dog made it back home safe would take much longer and could end up wasting a great deal of money if it turned out Sputnik could not even keep Laika alive in orbit.

On November 3, Soviet scientists announced that Sputnik 2 had launched and Laika was alive in orbit. Shortly after they announced to the public something which was apparent to Moscow from the start—Laika would not be returning to Earth but would be regarded as a Soviet state hero. The dog completed her week-long mission and died in space when Sputnik’s transmitters failed, the official record showed.

In reality, Laika survived very briefly in orbit according to reports from 2002, which showed that the dog suffered greater stress during launch and the start of weightlessness than she did during ground simulations of the flight. Telemetry from the capsule indicated rising temperature humidity after the start of the mission and Laika’s heart rate took longer to return to normal than during tests.

Mission control stopped receiving lifesigns from Laika after after five to seven hours into the flight, according to the BBC. Laika had apparently died from overheating and stress, by Sputnik 2’s fourth orbit of the Earth.

Of the 2,570 orbits Sputnik 2 performed, Laika survived only a few hours, but her journey paved the way for Gagarin’s successful mission in 1961.
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with my pleasure
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 11:08:59 AM

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Poor doggie. Shame on you
Fady Hanna
Posted: Friday, November 3, 2017 5:02:36 PM

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The most animal that the humanity love is the dogs, cause the experience which built with each other.
Firstly, some features in the dogs made it the most lovely animal, which are smart enough, many facial expressions, loyalty and can communicate with the humans and the humans can understand it's emotion.
Secondly, the human-being gave the dogs the most critical jobs like bare the drugs, blasts and the most popular task which is guarding.
However Laika had another task which is unique, this dog shared in this space experiment given her life, even when the man choose an animal for the experiment, selected on the smartest animal in the world, it died after few hours from launch because overheating, I believe they could get another animal which is less smart than Laika but Soviet government decided that this sacrificing for science.
Laika was chosen while she was stray in the streets, the scientists chose an erratic dog because they believe that she will endure the non stable temperature and Hungry situation.
finally I believe that the dogs are the closest animal to the Human-being, the dogs and humans share the happiest time and the most critical one, sharing the most stunt experience. We love them because they can share their emotions for instance when we feel sad, they know these feelings and begin to react with us.
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