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Sputnik II... Laika, the space dog...



Item # 564174

April 13, 1958

THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN, Springfield, Massachusetts, April 13, 1958

* Sputnik II spacecraft about to burn up in atmosphere
* 162 days in orbit coming to an end
* Famous for Soviet space dog named Laika


This 40+ page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "SPUTNIK II LIFE EXTENDED, FINAL ORBIT DUE TODAY" and "Dog Satellite's Plunge Awaited After Sightings Shift Estimates". Tells of the famous Russian spacecraft which carried the 1st living animal to reach outer space about 5 months earlier.

Other news of the day. Light browning with minor spine wear, otherwise in nice condition.

wikipedia notes: Sputnik 2 (Russian: Спутник-2, Satellite 2) was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, on November 3, 1957, and the first to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika. It was a 4 meters (13 feet) high cone-shaped capsule with a base diameter of 2 meters (6.5 ft). It contained several compartments for radio transmitters, a telemetry system, a programming unit, a regeneration and temperature control system for the cabin, and scientific instruments. A separate sealed cabin contained the dog Laika.

Engineering and biological data were transmitted using the Tral D telemetry system, which would transmit data to Earth for a 15 minute period during each orbit. Two photometers were on board for measuring solar radiation (ultraviolet and x-ray emissions) and cosmic rays. Sputnik 2 did not contain a television camera; TV images of dogs on Sputnik 5 are commonly misidentified as Laika.

Sputnik 2 was launched into a 212 x 1660 km (132 x 1031 mile) orbit with a period of 103.7 minutes on an essentially unmodified ICBM R-7, similar to the one used to launch Sputnik 1. After reaching orbit the nose cone was jettisoned successfully but the Blok A core did not separate as planned. This inhibited the operation of the thermal control system. Additionally some of the thermal insulation tore loose causing interior temperatures to reach 40 °C (104 °F). It is believed Laika survived for only a few hours instead of the planned ten days because of the heat. The orbit of Sputnik 2 decayed and it reentered Earth's atmosphere on 14 April 1958 after 162 days in orbit.

Category: The 20th Century

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