Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Dog Named Laika (1954-1957)

Laika, originally named Kudryavka (Little Curly), was a stray dog founded by a couple of Soviet scientist to undergo training along with other 2 dogs to be one of the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2. At the end of the training, Laika was chosen, and on the 3rd of November 1957 Laika was sent to space boarding the Sputnik 2 spacecraft, to orbit around the earth.

The experiment was a success, the Sputnik orbited the earth, hence making Laika the first animal ever to orbit the earth, as well as the first to DIE in orbit.

Sputnik 2 was not designed to be retrievable, and Laika had always been intended to die. The sole purpose of the experiment was to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure zero gravity. The craft was equipped with a life-support system, a fan to keep the temperature cool. 7 days worth of food, and a bag to collect waste. A harness was designed to be fitted to the dog and there were chains to restrict its movements to standing, sitting or lying down; there was no room to turn around in the cabin. It was widely reported that Laika died on day 6, when its oxygen ran out. Some speculations however believed that Laika has most likely been dead within hours after launch from overheating. Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik 2 disintegrated—along with Laika's remains—during re-entry on April 14, 1958.

A monument was built for Laika in remembrance of its sacrifice at Star City Russia, the Russian Cosmonaut training facility.


I dunno what to say, it was on 54 years ago on this day where this poor little puppy was sent to die, not knowing what lies ahead of its fate. I initially wanted to write some big words as a tribute to Laika, but no words can express how i feel now. I'm a dog lover, and it's sad to hear a life being taken away like that...what would Laika's thoughts be at the last few minute of its life? "Where am I?" "Why am I here?" "Why is it so hard to breath?" "Where did all those nice people go?" "I'm sleepy..." "I miss home...."

I'll just give a moment of silence to Laika now :'(


AdamTam said...

aw thats so sad. i've heard of laika but never knew the full story. if this happened in current times, peta would be all up on their faces!

Ivn said...

D*mn straight! Ever since Laika's incident every spacecraft project has insisted to make animal launching retrievable. I guess Laika's sacrifice do have SOME value after all? Still, she don't deserve to die that way :(