JFK+50: Volume 5, No. 1763SOVIETS LAUNCH DOG INTO ORBIT
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan (JFK+50) The Soviet Union launched into orbit fifty-eight years ago today, November 3, 1957, the first animal to go into space, a three year old female dog named Laika*.
Sputnik II was successfully launched from the world's first and largest space center, Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan.
The Soviets believed the mission would pave the way for human spaceflight by providing scientists with important data on how animals respond to the space environment.
Laika was not expected to survive the flight, but her death came hours after launch due to a malfunction in the cooling system which caused the on board temperature to rise to 104 degrees.
Laika (1954-1957), a stray 3 year old female mongrel found on the streets of Moscow & selected for training as the first animal to fly in space. One of the technicians who prepared her for launch said..."We kissed her nose & wished her bon voyage, knowing that she would not survive the flight."
Laika paved the way for human space flight & was honored with a monument by the Soviets in 2008.