With a pounding heart and rapid breath, Laika rode a rocket into Earth orbit, 2, miles above Moscow streets she knew. Overheated, cramped, frightened, and probably hungry, the space dog gave her life for her country, involuntarily fulfilling a canine suicide mission. Sad as this tale is, the stray husky-spitz mix became a part of history as the first living creature to orbit the Earth.
Missing Link | Inside the Magic of LAIKA
The first animal astronauts
The Soviet Union stunned the world on Nov. On board the small satellite was a little dog, Laika, the first animal to orbit Earth. However, Laika was not the first animal in space. The United States and the U. In the early days of rocket science, no one knew what the effects of weightlessness would be. Animals — mainly dogs, monkeys and chimps — were used to test the safety and feasibility of launching a living being into space and bringing it back unharmed. Since then, animals have continued to play an important role in understanding the impact of microgravity on many biological functions. Astronauts have studied all kinds of animals — wasps, beetles, tortoises, flies, worms, fish, spiders, rabbits, bees, ants, frogs, mice, crickets, rats, newts, snails, urchins, moths, brine shrimp, jellyfish, guinea pigs, butterflies, scorpions and cockroaches. Laika was a young, mostly-Siberian husky. She was rescued from the streets of Moscow.
Sputnik and Muttnik
Laika, LLC , simply known as Laika stylized as LAIKA , is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films , commercial content for all media, music videos , and short films. It is owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and is located in Hillsboro, Oregon , part of the Portland metropolitan area. The studio spun off the commercial division in July to focus exclusively on feature film production. The new independent commercial division is now called HouseSpecial. In the late s, Will Vinton Studios , known for its stop-motion films and commercials, sought funds for more feature-length films and brought in outside investors, which included Nike, Inc. In , Knight made his initial investment. After directing Moongirl and Coraline , and unsuccessfully renegotiating his contract, Selick departed Laika in After working on stop-motion commercials for clients such as Apple Inc. Their third film, The Boxtrolls , was released on September 26, Laika has considered Colin Meloy 's fantasy novel Wildwood   and Philip Reeve 's fantasy book Goblins ,  for potential feature film adaptations.
Laika, a stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow , was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on 3 November Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so Laika's survival was never expected. Some scientists believed humans would be unable to survive the launch or the conditions of outer space, so engineers viewed flights by animals as a necessary precursor to human missions. Laika died within hours from overheating , possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until ; 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 euthanised prior to oxygen depletion. On 11 April , Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika. A small monument in her honour was built near the military research facility in Moscow that prepared Laika's flight to space.