Laika the Dog, the First Animal in Space
Stamps sheet from the „Space Exploration” series Cat. No. 1406
In circulation since: December 30th, 1964
Face value: 40 gr
Stamp size: 31.25 x 43 mm
Paper: medium white chalked, colorless or cream gum
Printing technique: PWPW offset
Our photon is getting closer and closer to Earth’s orbit, so let’s look in that direction…
I know you were 2 dog-years old (about 30 in human ones), you weighed around 6 kilos and you survived 7 hours in that nightmarish, metal can called Sputnik 2, where you could only smell metal and fuel. You died of fear and overheating: the last part of the rocket did not detach from the main one as planned, and the temperature rose quickly to 40 oC. You were supposed to spend 10 days in orbit, and then eat your last, poisoned bowl of food. You died alone, far from home and people dear to you. They have never made plans for you to come back home. You were supposed to become a commemorative postal stamp, a hero for people’s needs.
It’s been 65 years since scientists launched you to Earth’s orbit. Has anyone ever apologised?