Adilia Kotovsky, a biologist from the Institute of biomedical problems of RAS explained why the first living creature sent into space, it became a dog and why the choice of professionals for more than half a century ago, fell on the mongrel female, named Laika. As it turned out, an important role was played by the resistance of dogs to stress and photogenic animal, the first conqueror of outer space.
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Laika was sent into space 50 years ago on 3 November 1957. Less than three years later, in space also were Belka and Strelka, who, unlike their predecessor, was fortunate enough to return to Earth alive. All three dogs forever entered the history of world cosmonautics.
Initially, the Soviet scientists turned their attention to dogs, not monkeys, because the latter was too hectic while the dogs were easy to train and could be more effectively prepared for this unusual experience of space flight in a cramped capsule.
By the way, it is known that American scientists have judged otherwise, and in their “space” experiments, participated monkeys.
Mutts were more suitable candidates than pedigree dogs, as a rule, were much less “whimsical”, and females were preferable to males because they take up less space in a space ship and not had to raise a paw in order to relieve physical needs.
One of the factors that Laika was the first animal-astronaut, has become an interesting and memorable appearance, however, the main were the same criteria that originally led scientists to pay attention to dog Laika was quiet and well tolerated stress.
However, stress was one of the reasons why the dog died only a few hours after launch. However, no less significant was overheating due to the lack of system of thermoregulation in capsules in which the dog was placed. Initially it was assumed that she would live for about a week.
It is worth noting that Laika became the only mammal that was originally not destined to return from space alive — although accidents and other abnormal situations have led to the deaths of animals during the experiments, the Huskies return from space was immediately recognized as technically impossible.