Vintage Soviet space program cigarette packages


All the Laika cigarette pack says to me is, “Smoke these, and you too can have a pointless painful death like the first dog in space!”


The Laika ones might have made me start smoking.

perhaps not, since she also makes me misty-eyed


There is some sweet design work there. Communist these countries may have been but they sure knew how to sell a product.

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Oleg Gazenko, one of the scientists responsible for sending Laika into space, expressed regret for allowing her to die:

Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I’m sorry about it. We shouldn’t have done it… We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog.

In October 2002, Dimitri Malashenkov, one of the scientists behind the Sputnik 2 mission, revealed that Laika had died by the fourth circuit of flight from overheating. According to a paper he presented to the World Space Congress in Houston, Texas, “It turned out that it was practically impossible to create a reliable temperature control system in such limited time constraints.”[2]

Scientifically speaking it was a pointless effort, it didn’t give the Soviet’s enough data to justify the death of the dog. It was a propaganda success at least, so maybe not completely pointless.


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