The day the first animal orbited the Earth – level 3
In October 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into orbit named Sputnik 1. After its success, an order arrived from Moscow to repeat the flight with an animal on board as soon as possible.
For the mission, which was a one-way flight, a female dog was chosen. Her name was Laika, and she was found as a stray dog in the streets of Moscow. She had a phlegmatic nature, which was ideal for the demanding training and the following stay in space.
The day before the flight, one of the doctors took Laika home to play with his children.
Then November 3, 1957, came. Laika was brought into orbit on board Sputnik 2.
It is estimated that Laika died after 7 hours of flight due to a failure in the equipment which caused too much heat inside Sputnik 2.
This flight, however, proved that a living organism or being could survive in orbit. In the following years, preparations could begin to send the first person into orbit. This was achieved by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
What impact do you think Laika's mission had on the morale of the Soviet Union in 1957?
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