Sputnikfest 2014


Rahr-West Art Museum - click HERE for more info!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Laika Was A Girl - Click here for a link to a PowerPoint presentation hosted on Slideshare.  This presentation was created as a promotional item for the first Sputnikfest five years ago and was intended to be reasonably historically accurate.  At least one innaccuracy is now recognized, however.  The presentation has some information about Laika, the Russian cosmonaut dog (and distant canine ancestor to Tina Kugler's Spotnik) - and in one slide Laika is refered to as a "he."  Brave little Laika, as it turns out, was of the female doggy persuasion.  Laika (which means "Barker" in Russian) was a female part Samoyed terrier - a stray picked up on the streets of Moscow, so the story goes.  The goal of the mission was to prove that organisms from Earth could live in outer space.  The ship gained the nickname “Muttnik” in the popular press. The pressurized cabin was padded and provided Laika with enough room to lie down or stand.  Laika was fitted with a bag to collect waste (a female dog was intentionally chosen because she wouldn’t have to raise her leg to go to the bathroom) and electrodes to monitor her vital signs. The mission was to last ten days with food dispensed automatically.  As there was no plan for her return to earth, Laika’s final meal contained poison to euthanize her.  Following the mission, the Soviets initially claimed Laika had survived the full ten day mission.  Laika’s actual fate came to light years later.  As a result of a malfunction in the thermal control system and some loose insulation, the interior temperature of the capsule quickly reached 104 °Fahrenheit.  Initial data from the capsule showed Laika had survived the trip into orbit, but it is believed she survived for only a few hours after achieving orbit.  Sputnik II re-entered Earth's atmosphere on April 14, 1958.  Planet Terry 

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