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First Dog In Space

Updated on December 30, 2010

Laika - First Dog In Space

Laika, a 13 pound stray stray found on the streets of Moscow, became famous for being the first dog sent into space. Unfortunately, she was also the first orbital death. Laika perished when the thermal control systems failed and the capsule overheated, killing the her in orbit. Russia has given Laika a permanent statue of her very own near Moscow's Military Medicine Institute. Read more about this fascinating famous dog.

Laiki

1954 - November 3, 1957

The First Dog In Space

About Laika

Laike was born born 1954 and died on November 3, 1957.

The name Laika means "Barker".

Laika was the first animal to orbit the Earth and was also the first orbital death.

Laika was a stray dog found wandering the streets of Moscow. A stray was chosen because it was assumed that a stray animal had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger.

Laika was launch into space on November 3, 1957. After three hours of weightlessness, her pulse rate was 102 beats per minute. After approximately five to seven hours into the flight, no further signs of life were received from the spacecraft.

Laika likely died within hours after launch from overheating.

A small monument in honor of Laika was unveiled on April 11, 2008. The monument was built near the military research facility in Moscow, which prepared Laika's flight to space.

Photos of Laika

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Russia has decided to give Laika a permanent statue of her very own near Moscow's Military Medicine Institute.LaikaLaika sailed into space wearing a spacesuit like this one on display at the Moscow Space Museum.Laika makes headlines.
Russia has decided to give Laika a permanent statue of her very own near Moscow's Military Medicine Institute.
Russia has decided to give Laika a permanent statue of her very own near Moscow's Military Medicine Institute.
Laika
Laika
Laika sailed into space wearing a spacesuit like this one on display at the Moscow Space Museum.
Laika sailed into space wearing a spacesuit like this one on display at the Moscow Space Museum.
Laika makes headlines.
Laika makes headlines.

Stop! Please Answer The Poll!

Oleg Gazenko, one of the scientists responsible for sending Laika into space, expressed regret for allowing her to die. He was quoted as saying....

"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."

Do you believe in sending animals into space?

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Other Dogs Who Died In Space

The only other dogs to die in a Soviet space mission were Pchyolka and Mushka, who died when Korabl-Sputnik 3 disintegrated on re-entry on December 1, 1960.

Stop! Please Answer The Poll!

Do you own a dog?

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    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Remember the dog well and cried for its pain, *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Angel blessings for Dogs on Squidoo, Hugs for writing about him and reminding us of how cruel man is to these gorgeous creatures.

    • AWildDog profile image

      AWildDog 6 years ago

      Would be nice if there was a bit more information on here, but a great subject to write about.

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 6 years ago

      Aww, that is just terrible, Imagine how frightened she was. It just seems so wrong.Thanks for honoring her memory.Robin

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      What a great tribute to the first dog in space.

    • profile image

      sandralynnsparks 6 years ago

      I remember crying when I was a kid, when I heard this news. I'm glad she's not forgotten.