The soviet space dogs who took giant leaps for mankind



Cats did not tolerate flight conditions

Now there’s an understatement.


Wow, great stuff… a few facts in there i didnt know. Also some great illustrations. Thanks!

Looks interesting.
Haven’t rtfa yet – I’m in public and Laika stories always make me tear up…


Cats vary in temperament. Yes, most cats hate riding in vehicles of any kind, but one of my parents’ cats loved to ride in the car – he liked to stretch out on the dashboard and sun himself as we drove along, attracting stares from other cars when he moved and people saw that he was a real living cat.

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My old girl used to love riding in cars. One year she put in over 10k miles.

Cats in space would not be sunning themselves luxuriously on a warm dashboard.


I’m not entirely sure what breeds went into her; but Strelka is adorable.

As for this quizzical character, I’m getting a strong “So, I think we might need to have a frank discussion of certain aspects of our doctor/patient relationship here…” vibe from the expression. Probably just projection; but ears can be pretty expressive.


The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles was way ahead of them:

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Dogs and cats are alright, but I was always partial to Pigs… In… Space…!


As you wish…


My first cat loved car trips to my mom’s when she was young. Once I dissuaded her from sitting in the floorboard under my brake foot (!!!), she took to laying across my shoulders or sitting in my lap with her paws on my left arm, looking out the window. She liked going through the drive-thru to get french fries.

Once she got older, car trips elicited long sessions of Klingon opera (“Lo! Today! Is a good day! To DIEEEEEEEEEEEE”) and I missed those days.

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They missed one little detail that always makes me tear up a little, the Air Force doctor who was helping to choose which of ten dogs would be sent up on Sputnik 2, Vladimir I. Yazdovskiy, said:

Layka was a wonderful dog…Quiet and very placid. Before the flight to the cosmodrome I once brought her home and showed her to the children. They played with her. I wanted to do something nice for the dog. She had only a very short time to live, you see.

Which I think was a lovely thing to do.


I once made a song called “Kudryavka” (her Russian name, or at least one of them) to pay homage to that wonderful dog. It’s a pretty melancholic song, it always makes me feel sad.

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Laika and the Cosmonauts play three songs for space dogs:

  1. Floating
  2. Experiment in Terror
  3. Mission Impossible

I have the above CD somewhere. Prolly buried in the attic.


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Huh, and they’re Finnish. Sweet. I’m pretty sure I’'ve heard of them before, but had just forgotten. Don’t really care for surf rock, typically, but that’s not bad.

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