Laika was a soviet space dog who became famous as the first animal to orbit earth, her story is quite emotional and heart-breaking, Laika was a stray mongrel dog who used to have her normal life in the streets of Moscow, back then, a very challenging space race between the two cold war rivals (the Soviet Union and the United States) was taking place. A race that was meant to be won by both sides as it was related to national security and global dominance in spaceflight capability.
The Soviet Union having already sent a first satellite (Sputnik 1) before in October 4, 1957, they decided on sending a second (Sputnik 2) with a living being on board this time. But as technology achievements were not quite as of today, and space knowledge being limited, sending humans into space was dangerous and life threatening. So that is when it was decided to send a dog in a test mission.
Soviet scientists chose then to use Moscow city stray dogs as those were assumed to already had learned to live in extreme cold weather and hunger conditions. A bunch of dogs were thus gathered in a training facility for test and selection. Laika was one of them, and as she was so calm, beautiful and wouldn’t fight with other dogs (as some magazines described her), she soon was picked for the perfect dog cosmonaut. Vladimir Yazdovsky, the medical scientist who led the dog testing program described her in later publication as saying ; “Laika was quiet and charming”.
According to different sources, the official decision of the launch was made only about four weeks before … Continue Reading