Skip to comments.Message from the First Dog in Space Received 45 Years Too Late
Posted on 05/19/2007 2:30:32 AM PDT by Daffynition
HOUSTON, Tex. (USA) Forty-five years and five hours ago, the first Earthling broke through the atmosphere and into space. It wasn't a man, a woman or even a monkey; it was stray dog.
That much is public knowledge, but a secret that has been kept for 45 years was just released last week at the World Space Congress in Houston. "Laika", the first astronaut of the planet Earth, died of fright just after take-off.
The report, presented by Dimitri Malashenkov of the Institute for Biological problems in Moscow, ended decades of speculation as to the fate of the great canine cosmonaut sent into space aboard Sputnik 2 on Nov. 3, 1957. Russian authorities had previously circulated reports that Laika survived in orbit for four days and then died when the cabin overheated due to a battery malfunction.
In reality, medical sensors recorded that immediately after the launch, as her capsule reached speeds of nearly 18,000 miles per hour (28,800km/h), her pulse rate increased to three times its normal level, presumably due to overheating, fear and stress. Five to seven hours into the flight, no further life signs were received from Laika.
Dr. Malashenkov's report came as a huge surprise to the scientific community.
"The overheating story has been around," comments Sven Grahn, a noted space historian. "But this, dead after five to seven hours, that was a shock to me."
To Boldly Go Where No Mutt
Between 1957 and 1966, a total of 13 dogs were used in Soviet space flights, many of whom were recovered unharmed. Laika was the only one Russian scientists knowingly sent into space to die; the time frame under which Soviet technicians had to work did not allow for the development of a space craft that could sustain life during a long flight or survive a re-entry without burning up.
Sputnik 2 had been conceived and built in just under four weeks at the urging of then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
On the day of Laika's voyage, the New York Times printed: "the Soviet Union claimed a victory over the United States."
A Few Facts About Laika
The First Communication from Intelligent Life in Space
Laika first said "hello" to the people of Earth on a radio broadcast, Oct. 27, a week before her historic flight. She barked into the microphone.
While in space, she transmitted a continual "beep-beep-beep" on a radio frequency that served as a tracking signal. Soon after launch, Sputnik 2's transmitters failed and the signal ceased. After six days, all contact with the craft was lost.
Laika's 1,120-pound (508-kilogram) capsule remained in orbit for a total of 162 days, circling the Earth 2570 times before burning up in the atmosphere on April 14, 1958. To anyone watching the sky at that time, she made her final statement as a tiny falling star in the night.
And the message?
Translation = I need to squat and can’t.
So he never made it into space? Wow. Or should I say, Bow-wow?
OK, He DID make it into space...just didn’t last long.
How do you think they felt?
LMAO, JaWOHL! I know just what you’re talking about! :))
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