Laika The Space Dog Given Monument in Moscow.

April 12th, 2008 by Dan

Over 50 years ago, Laika, a mixed breed female dog was the first earthling in space. This Friday a monument was unveiled as a testimony to her bravery and the contribution she (and other canine astronauts) made to the space program.

Sadly, at the birth of the space program, dogs were simply part of the equipment. Their rides into space were met with certain death. It wasn’t until 1960 that 2 Russian dogs, Belka and Strelka, made the return to Earth after one of these rides.

Laika The Space Dog

Photo: Associated Press

Russian scientists had said that Laika was euthanized by lethal injection after a week of being monitored in space, however after the fall of the Soviet Union, more disturbing news was reveled. The little dog died after only a few hours in orbit due to overheating.

The monument features a dog standing on top of a rocket ship and is situated near a military research facility outside Moscow.

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