Laika Dog: First earthling to enter orbit honored

April 14, 2008 – 10:27 pm

laika iconLaika was a Russian space dog that was the first earthling to enter orbit in 1957. An unspoken hero in the planet’s space program was honored with a monument recently in Moscow.

laikagraphicLaika was a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow, and was chosen from a group of dogs for resiliency and good nature to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 to be launched into space on November 3rd, 1957. Since there was no way to design a re-entry vehicle in time for the launch, the flight meant a certain death. Laika died of overheating and panic during the first few hours of flight.

laika statueRussia have unvieled a monument for Laika recently, to mark the 50th anniversary of the canine’s flight. The monument is located near the Russian Defense Ministry’s State Military Medicine Scientific Research Institute where the dog was prepared for its historic flight.

There is a loosely factually based graphic novel, Laika, that gives a touching story of the dogs life. Written by Nick Abadzis, the artistry and flow of the graphic novel breathes life into the noble, yet tragic, life of Laika.

“Laika was quiet and charming,” Dr. Vladimir Yazdovsky wrote in his book chronicling the story of Soviet space medicine. He recalled that before heading to the launch pad, he took the dog home to play with his children. “I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live,” Yazdovsky said.


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