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03 November

Laika, the Russian Space Dog

Laika, The Russian Space Dog

56 years ago today, November 3,1957, the Russian space program launched a dog into space. Laika was one of three dogs tested to see which would go into space. All passed the test, but Laika was the lucky one to win a one way trip to space. Laika rode into space on Sputnik II where she would stay for eternity as there were no plans for Sputnik II’s reentry.

Laika means “barker” in Russian. She was a three-year old mutt that weighted 13 pounds. Before launch she was hooked up to machines to record what happened to her body during launch and also once in space. In addition to being the first animal in space she is probably the fastest traveling animal as well, she circled the earth every hour and forty-two minutes, traveling approximately 18,000 miles per hour.

While there was much debate as to how long Laika lived after the launch, According to a 2002 BBC article “After five to seven hours into the flight, no life signs were being received from Laika. By the fourth orbit it was apparent that Laika had died from overheating and stress. “ We also know that on the sixth day the life support in the module failed and on April 14, 1958 Sputnik II reentered the atmosphere and burned up. Her death sparked much debate over animal rights. In Russian, she is seen as a hero.

This part of the show tells the story of Oleg Gazenko, the Soviet scientist who selected and trained space-dog Laika, the first living creature in orbit.


Read more:



Laika: The 1st Dog in Space

Laika: The 1st Dog in Space

Laika: The 1st Dog in Space (Famous Firsts: Animals Making History (Graphic Planet))

Space Race

Space Race

Space Race: The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space

12 April

Everyone is talking about: Yuri Gagarin


Today marks the 50th anniversary that humankind put a man in space. Everyone is writing about this online. I mean everyone. This is your one stop shop for everything online that is Gagarin. Jalopnik, a car blog, even has an extensive feature on their blog. National Geographic has a huge slideshow with really fantastic photos you need to check out. Boing Boing posted the below video with a link to NASA’s website where there is a feature on Gagarin too. Gizmodo did a great job with their article online too, maybe the best one I read today. Wired did a post about the photos that were altered of some of the soviet astronauts. Google of course jumped in and created a custom image for Gagarin.

Yuri Gagarin carried two personal items with him on his historic first spaceflight. First, cognac. Second, shark repellant. The shark repellant was in case he landed in the sea. Mary Roach via Twitter

Then there is the movie. Metafilter mentions it on their site. We touched on it briefly a few posts ago. The best site to learn about the movie is GeekDad. I’ll post the movie below.

Other articles found online:
C|Net Photo Slideshow

Also, Starman: The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin the book came out today. I want to read this really bad, but for now I think I will just watch the movie. Enjoy everyone!