Bloggin' along with 'MUSCLES'
a monthly blog
50 Years Since the MOON LANDING!
' We animals were the first earthly living beings
to pose as astronauts. It is common knowledge
that we were the first to reach "outer space".
America was the first country to put animals in
rocket-powered missiles. The first attempt to
launch an animal into "outer-space" was in
1948. America chose to "test" space missions
Albert I, a rhesus monkey, was chosen for the
first sub-orbital spaceflight to "test" the effects
of rapid acceleration and weightlessness.
He did not survive in flight. In 1949, the
subsequent monkey was implanted with
sensors to monitor his vital signs during the
mission. This 'monkey-naut', named Albert II,
did not survive the impact upon landing. '
' For the following decade, no primate survived any trip into "outer space"---
each one died on impact or during the flight. It wasn't until 1959 that two
'monkey-nauts', named Able and Miss Baker, survived spaceflight and were
recovered safely. They had not orbited. '
Laika, My SUPER Space-Hero!
' But first--
At that time, some scientists believed humans would not be able to survive
the conditions of a launch or outer space. Engineers had viewed animals as
forerunner "tests" for human missions. Animal missions were considered
necessary experiments, intended to reveal whether a living being could
survive a launch into orbit and could endure micro-gravity.
From 1951 to 1956, the Soviet Union had launched 12 canines into sub-orbital
space---and in general, were successful in bringing them home safely.
The Soviets intended to "test" a canine in orbit before attempting human
The Sputnik-2 was designed to monitor Laika's respiration rate, blood pressure,
pulse and body movements. For this first attempted earth orbit, the spacecraft
also carried instruments for measuring the sun's light-energy and the high-
energy radiation of 'cosmic rays'.
Sputnik-2 was equipped with a life-support system for Laika. It had an
oxygen-generator---a device to avoid excess oxygen---a device to absorb
carbon dioxide---a fan to activate with excessive temperatures---a feeding
system she was trained with---and devices to monitor her body functions. '
' Unfortunately, a successful re-entry strategy could not be worked out in time
for the flight. Neither was Sputnik-2 designed strongly and sturdy enough to
re-enter earth's atmosphere safely. '
' Laika was placed on a
'one-way-ticket-ride' on November 3,
1957 @ 5:30 AM.
It was reported that Laika survived the launch.
However, during the launch the temperature
control system had not deployed properly--and
some of the thermal insulation had torn loose.
Monitors showed that about 5-7 hours into
flight no further signs of life were received
(or by about the fourth circuit of flight).
Sputnik-2 re-entered the atmosphere on
April 14, 1958 after 162 days in space
and about 2750 orbits!! '
' From my 'fur'-spective--
We doggos try to survive what we are experiencing at the moment, just so we
can get to the next moment. Laika was trained to be alone for long periods of
time in small confined spaces. I think I may speak on her behalf for our kind.
I know that we are ever-trusting and loyal to those we live with and connect to.
As a matter of fact, our bonds are really the only things that matter to us.
Our whole lives revolve around these relationship bonds---and they actually
are the only things that bring us meaning, purpose and joy.
It would have taken about 8-11 minutes to get to orbit. And Sputnik-2 only had
that 8-11 minutes to reach 17,500 miles/hour, the speed needed to enter orbit.
That means Laika was hurling into earth's orbit at roughly 300 miles/minute---
or at roughly 5 miles/second!!!
This launch would have made Laika's 'capsule-world' more violent and tumultuous
than it had ever been before. Monitors showed that she had "hung on" throughout
the launch, and that she had successfully made it thru' into earth's orbit!
Once in weightless orbit, I can only think Laika would not have connected her
whole ordeal with any malicious intent toward her. It's conceivable that she
did not even know she had left her earthly home at all. How could she have?
How could she have known what "outer space" was?
How could she have known what humans had planned?
In her doggo world, she had learned to trust those she had known and bonded to.
She probably was certain that her fellow humans "were somewhere just outside",
as they always had been thousands of times.
As she orbited earth, I'm sure Laika patiently endured and ever-waited through
whatever she had to. Her humans had always been there to rescue her before,
and this time there was no reason to believe differently. All she had to do was
wait it all out, and everything would be okay again. '
' In anyone's world, Laika was a martyr---a true saint!! '
' After all, that's how we doggos roll.
That's the kinda' golden hearts and souls we have. '