Laika was a Soviet space dog who became the first animal to orbit the Earth.
A stray dog from the streets of Moscow, she was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.
Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so Laika's survival was not planned for and she died in space. Future space missions carrying dogs would be designed to be recovered.
Laika is memorialized in the form of a statue and plaque at Star City near Moscow, the Russian Cosmonaut training facility. The Monument to the Conquerors of Space, constructed in 1964, also includes Laika.
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