Friday, November 1, 2013

Meet Belka and Strelka: The Frist Earthlings to Survive Orbital Flight

Not all scientific achievements were made by men. In fact, some of the greatest accomplishments were made by dogs. Meet Belka and Strelka, the first earthlings to survive orbital flight.

On August 19, 1960 the USSR launched Korabl-Sputnik 2, which was known as Sputnik 5 in the West. On board were two mix-breed strays that were found wandering the streets of Russia. The tiny canines each weighed about 12 pounds and were named Belka (Squirrel) and Strelka (Little Arrow).

The primary aim of the mission was to gather intelligence regarding the physiological effects of space flight. This information would ultimately be used to determine whether or not a short-term exposure to weightlessness seriously impacted basic bodily functions. Fortunately for Belka and Strelka, it doesn’t. Unfortunately, these pioneers didn’t exactly have first class seats.

To learn about this journey, see:

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