Croatian American artist Marilyn Cvitanic with her distinguished style
Laika by Marilyn Cvitanic
Fifty years ago today the USSR launched Sputnik 2. On board was a live dog named Laika. The point was to prove that a dog, and eventually a human being, could survive in space. Sputnik 2 was equipped with life support systems and enough food and water for ten days.
Unfortunately the spacecraft was not designed for recovery, and it soon became clear to the world that Laika was making a one-way trip. Sputnik 2 fell into the atmosphere and burned on April 14th, 1958.
The mission yielded very little useful scientific information. Perhaps the most meaningful legacy of Sputnik 2 can be summed up in this quote from one of the soviet scientists:
"The more time passes, the more I'm sorry.... We shouldn't have done it.... We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog."
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