Friday, November 23, 2007

Space Dogs

Cyber-paw friends did you know that a dog was the first earthbound creature to go into outer space? Let us set the WABAC machine to 1957 and go back in time just like Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman used to. The world was far different place in 1957. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States and Nikita Khrushchev the Soviet Premier. One of the biggest stories was the launching of Sputnik 1 on 4 October 1957.

Sherman and Mr. Peabody

Thirty days later, on 3 November a dog named Laika (“Barker”) became the first earthbound creature in outer space aboard Sputnik II. Laika was referred to as “Muttnik” by the American news media. Unfortunately, Laika died five to seven hours into the flight.

The First in Space - Laika

[Tass News Agency photo via Russian Space Agency]

Among the first living creatures to survive a space flight and land safely back on earth were Belka (Squirrel) and Strelka (Little Arrow) aboard Sputnik 5 on 19 August 1960. Belka and Strelka were accompanied by a rabbit, 42 mice, two rats and flies. Strelka later had a litter of six puppies. In 1961, Khrushchev presented John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline with Pushinka (Fluffy) a daughter of Strelka.

Stelka (left) and Belka (right)

As you look at the stars tonight, remember Laika and her historic journey that took place a little over 50 years ago.


PerfectTosca said...

Hey Joe, The woman remembers all that stuff!

She also says I belong in space myself. What the fershtunk is that supposed to mean?

Eddie N Peaches said...

Great info! What an educational blog. You Sunshine State collies are smarties!
Whoofs & Baroos,
Eddie, Peaches & Bella

Pacco de Mongrel said...

thanks for sharing with us about d space dog...i never knew about it

Orable & Charlie said...

Great post, collies! I always felt sad when I thought about Laika up there all alone. I remember hearing my owner say that she had howled in her little spacecraft, too, and I also seem to remember that her death was planned; her air ran out on schedule and she went to sleep because they had not planned to get her down. I love humans as much as the next dog, but I must be in awe of those that have given everything for the sake of some silly human endeavour! I also have wondered what kept the squirrel, rabbit, 42 mice, and two rats from returning to Earth as one squirrel, one rabbit, several squirabbits, 107 mice, and 12 rats?

licks and slobbers