14.04.

1958: Dog Laika Burned during the Return to Earth

1958: Dog Laika Burned during the Return to Earth
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 14 April 1958
  • The spacecraft with Laika burned in the atmosphere during its return to Earh on this day in 1958. However, Laika had died soon after the launch.

The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik-2 crashed from orbit to the Earth on this day in 1958. The famous dog Laika was in it.

Laika became the very first living creature to enter orbit (not counting the microorganisms that were probably on Sputnik-1). She was a female about three years old, a mixed breed.

The spacecraft with Laika burned in the atmosphere during its return to Earth on this day in 1958. However, Laika had died soon after the launch.

So, the spacecraft Sputnik-2 circled with a dead dog around the Earth 162 days, making more than 2,000 orbits (the launch had been back in November of the previous year).

It is assumed that Laika died because of excessive heat during the first hours of the mission. If Laika had survived, the animal would have had oxygen and food for only a few days.

Namely, it was not planned that Sputnik-2 reenter into the Earth’s orbit because it had no heat shield. Therefore, the Soviets sent Laika into space without any possibility of returning to the Earth.

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