Laika, first dog in space
The first living creature sent into space was a dog named Laika, nicknamed "Mutnik" by
the press. She was launched aboard Sputnik 2 on November 3,1957 by the Soviet
Other Space Dogs
Between 1957 and 1966, the USSR (now Russia) sent 13 dogs into space in preparation
for future missions. The dogs included:
- Laika (meaning "Barker")
- died during a mission (Sputnik 2, November 1957)
- Lisichka (meaning "Little Fox")
and Bars (meaning "Panther" or "Lynx")
- died during a test flight on July 28, 1960
- Strelka (meaning "Little Arrow")
, Belka (meaning "Squirrel"),
40 mice, 2 rats and a number of plants - safely recovered from Korabl'-Sputnik-2.
Launched August 19, 1960, it orbited the Earth 18 times. This was the first
successful recovery of living biological specimens after an orbital mission.
Strelka later gave birth to a litter of 6 healthy puppies; one was given
to President John F. Kennedy as a gift.
A stamp from Bulgaria featuring Strelka, Chernushka, Zvezdochka,
- Pchelka (meaning "Little Bee")
and Mushka (meaning "Little
Fly")- died when Korabl'-Sputnik-3 re-entered the Earth's atmosphere at the
wrong angle and burned up, (launched December 1, 1960)
- Damka (meaning "Little Lady")
and Krasavka (meaning "Beauty")
- Launched December 22, 1960, but the third stage of the SL-3 rocket failed,
and the orbital launch was aborted; the two dogs survived an unplanned suborbital
- Chernushka (meaning "Blackie"), a dummy cosmonaut (known as "Ivan
Ivanovich"), a few mice and a guinea pig - launched March 9, 1961.
- Zvezdochka (meaning "Little Star")
and a dummy cosmonaut in a space suit - launched on March 25, 1961 and
orbited once in final preparation for
the Vostok 1 mission. Zvezdochka was named by cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
- Verterok or Veterok (meaning "Breeze")
and Ugolyok or Ugolek (meaning "Little
Piece of Coal") were launched on February 22, 1966, in the satellite Kosmos
110. This was a 22-day mission.