Laika survived only a few hours. Laika is the first animal in the orbit. Animal welfare organizations expressed outrage at news that the Russians have sent a dog into outer space. She is a dog. Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Initially, Soviet publications claimed that the dog died… Laika, a stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on 3 November 1957. With only 3 weeks to create the new spacecraft, the Russians didn’t have time to create a way for Laika to make it home. The plan was for Laika to die in space. Laika was a mongrel female, approx 3 years old, quiet and charming. Laika went to space, her fate decided by man. Only female dogs were used because they were considered to be anatomically better suited than males for close confinement. Sputnik II remained in orbit until April 14, 1958, when it was cremated upon reentering Earth's atmosphere. She was one of a number of stray dogs that were taken into the Soviet spaceflight program after being rescued from the streets. Laika was a small (13 pounds [6 kg]), even-tempered, mixed-breed dog about two years of age. How did Laika the space dog die? But the unexpected happened. Laika died within hours from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. Telemetry data showed that Laika survived the launch, according to Anatoly Zak of RussianSpaceWeb.com. What lessons can we learn from Laika the space dog and are we still making the same mistakes. The creators of the apparatus thought that the dog would die 6 days after the launch, when the apparatus had run out of electricity. Laika was once a part of our family - she was with us for four years, but we had to send her to the Dumanhugs (thank God we did as she was in better hands) because my son was asthmatic. She was the typical LOYAL dog, always following her master, and when reprimanded looked at … For five more months, Earth was orbited by a dead dog, the second thing humans ever put into space. The National Canine Defence League was calling on all dog lovers to observe a minute's silence. She died a painful death, within hours, from overheating and panic. The cause of death was the excessive heating of the aircraft in the sun. Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. We now know that Laika died of overheating about 5-7 hours after launch. 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