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First animal in space: Laika the Soviet space dog.

First animal in space: Laika the Soviet space dog.

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Credit

SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A technician prepares Laika, the bitch who became the first animal in space, for her launch aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. Sputnik 2 weighed 500 kilos and contained a sealed cabin for Laika with a food store, an air conditioner and apparatus for recording her pulse, respiration, blood pressure & hearbeat. The spacecraft was not designed to be recovered, and Laika died in space. Soviet propaganda at the time maintained that she survived for about a week, but in fact she died after just a few hours due to overheating and panic.

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