Laika was a mongrel female, approx 3 years old, quiet and charming. For five more months, Earth was orbited by a dead dog, the second thing humans ever put into space. Laika touched the stars before she died and she touched the hearts and minds of generations. She is a dog. Initially, Soviet publications claimed that the dog died… Laika is the first animal in the orbit. Laika survived only a few hours. Only female dogs were used because they were considered to be anatomically better suited than males for close confinement. Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. What lessons can we learn from Laika the space dog and are we still making the same mistakes. How did Laika the space dog die? She died because--or so scientists predict--when the Soviet Sputnick 2 crashed, the cabin overheated, killing poor Laika within hours. She was the typical LOYAL dog, always following her master, and when reprimanded looked at … The cause of death was the excessive heating of the aircraft in the sun. She was one of a number of stray dogs that were taken into the Soviet spaceflight program after being rescued from the streets. But the unexpected happened. Telemetry data showed that Laika survived the launch, according to Anatoly Zak of RussianSpaceWeb.com. Laika went to space, her fate decided by man. Laika died within hours from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The new documentary, which—according to Wired—will turn your stomach and break your heart, tells the story of Laika, a dog who died aboard Sputnik 2 after being blasted into space by experimenters who knew they were condemning her to a horrible death. Laika was once a part of our family - she was with us for four years, but we had to send her to the Dumanhugs (thank God we did as she was in better hands) because my son was asthmatic. Animal welfare organizations expressed outrage at news that the Russians have sent a dog into outer space. Laika, a stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on 3 November 1957. Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. We now know that Laika died of overheating about 5-7 hours after launch. Sputnik II remained in orbit until April 14, 1958, when it was cremated upon reentering Earth's atmosphere. Laika was a small (13 pounds [6 kg]), even-tempered, mixed-breed dog about two years of age. She died a painful death, within hours, from overheating and panic. 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