First Dog to Launched in Orbit

Laika, a Mongrel dog (Barker in Russia) was the first dog to launch in orbit. She was once a stray dog in Moscow and was selected from an animal shelter. Originally named "Kudryavka" (Russian : little curly-haired one) and was renamed Laika. after undergoing training with other two dogs, she was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 in November 3, 1957.

The 1,120-lb. Sputnik 2 was outfitted with scientific gauges, life-support systems, and padded walls, but was not designed for recovery. Laika was supported inside the satellite by a harness that allowed some movement and access to food and water. Electrodes transmitted vital signs including heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing rate.

Sputnik 2 was not designed to be retirevable, so Laika had always been intended to die. Dr. Dimitri Malashenkov, one of the scientists behind the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died five to seven hours after launch from overheating and stress.

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