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figure 1

 

Laika. First dog in space. From Russian: Лайка, a breed of dog, literally: “Barker”.reference 1

The story is that she was a stray found on the streets of Moscow and selected from an animal shelter. Originally named Kudryavka (Russian: кудрявка), she was renamed Laika after her breed type.reference 2 After undergoing training with two other dogs, she was selected to ride aboard Sputnik 2, which was launched on November 3, 1957. How true this rags-to-riches story may be is hard to say. Certainly the tale does not have a happy ending. Unfortunately for our intrepid Laika, this was a one way trip. She died a few hours into the flight. Her sacrifice and the cause of her death have been matters of some dispute.

1. Wikipedia contributors. 2007. Laika. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Accessed Jan 10 2008 from http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Laika

2. I presume that as a foundling, there is no way to ascertain that she was a purebred. On the other hand breeds—such as Barkers—may have been less stringently regulated in the Soviet Union.
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About the illustration: Laika's official portrait. This image is copyrighted and unlicensed. I believe that the use of this work in the article “Laika” to illustrate the subject in question where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law.
see also: moon dogs
cf: astro
Last updated: July 23, 2008
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies