November 2, 2002
First dog in space died within hours
(Dr David Whitehouse, 28 October, 2002, BBC News Online)
The dog Laika, the first living creature to orbit the Earth, did not live nearly as long as Soviet officials led the world to believe.
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 2, 2002 1:57 PM
The animal, launched on a one-way trip on board Sputnik 2 in November 1957, was said to have died painlessly in orbit about a week after blast-off.
Now, it has been revealed she died from overheating and panic just a few hours after the mission started.
With the control systems they had back then, the early astronauts were heroes. But I seem to recall Yuri Gagarin (the first Soviet cosmonaut) was rather affected by his trip, physically. After the USSR went out of existence he confided that the trip wasn't exactly a joy ride and they had to carry him out of the capsule. I forget why.
I think he was carried out because of the effects of zero-G on the human body. Gravity stresses our bones and muscles. Without gravity, they become very weak.
This is scandalous! It took them this long to admit it?! This is worse than Chernobyl - much worse! At least the Ruskies fessed up within a couple of days for a nuclear meltdown. But negligent death of a dogonaut - we gotta wait a few decades to find out?! I call chush
on that! Where's the SPCA on this? Even Ham lived all the way until January 19, 1983, in what by all accounts was a pretty cush cage at the Houston Zoo. OK, so he got shocked during flight even though he was pushing all the right buttons. And it pissed him off - big time. Don't forget for a second that Ham nearly drowned on his first splashdown - he reportedly never forgave NASA for that - when they got to him the only thing still above water were his dilated nostrils. But if he had
drowned, well, the US would have just said, "Ham drowned because we srewed up on the capsule recovery. Sorry.... But hey! Meet Cheese
, America's newest Astronaut! And boy can he hold his breath!