Tech History Today
November 3, 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2 carrying ‘Laika – The Dog’
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 carrying the first animal, ‘Laika the dog’ to orbit the earth on this day in 1957.
Laika was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. The dog was sent as the Soviet Union’s mission Sputnik 2 to study the impact of spaceflight on living creatures.
As per the rumors, she died within hours from overheating, although, the true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002. Instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six or, as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanized prior to oxygen depletion.
Later, the dog would go on to inspire the saddest Jonathan Coulton song ever, “Space Doggity” and the band Laika and the Cosmonauts.