Trinity University Press

The Legacy of Laika the Soviet Space Dog

In 1957, the Soviet Union sent a small dog into orbit around Earth. Laika became the first living creature to circle the planet. But for Laika it was a suicide mission. Space officials, under orders from Nikita Khrushchev to hurry to launch Sputnik II so it coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, had no plan to bring the small dog back. Her legacy is explored in a deeply researched book by Tech Honors College professor Kurt Caswell, Laika’s Window: The Legacy of a Soviet Space Dog. He sought to answer a central question he had about the 6.3-inch diameter window on the spacecraft. Listen to the story here on KTTZ. 

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