Popular Science / Sputnik-2 or: Laika, Our Hero

In 1957, a Soviet street dog named Laika launched into space aboard Sputnik-2 and became the first animal to orbit the Earth. This is her story.

When the international press reported the Soviets sent a dog into orbit, the public freaked. Not because communism was beating democracy in the space race, but because how could anyone send a dog—alone—into space. If there's one universal truth, it's this: everyone loves dogs. So, the Soviets spun the story. Laika, the space dog, became a national hero. Yes, she died on her one way mission. But, she gloriously orbited Earth for over a week until her eventual, peaceful death. And, because of Laika's sacrifice, the Soviet space program was now years ahead of the Americans...

But, none of that was true.

Based on declassified Soviet space program documents as well as primary source archive, this is a revised version of Laika's one way trip. In her words. That is, approximately her words. She was a dog, after all.

credits :: Tom McNamara :: Director. Producer. Editor. Camera ::

*2018 Webby Nominee for best science and education video :: Vimeo Staff Pick :: Other Worlds Austin SciFi Film Festival selection

video made for Popular Science :: PopSci has been a leading source of science and technology news since its inception in 1872 ::