Tuesday, 9 March 2021

vostok-3ka no. 1

Also known by the designation Sputnik 9 (see previously), the Soviet spacecraft launched on this day in 1961 carried a complement and crew of mice, guinea pig, a dog called Chemushka (“Blackie”) and a realistic human dummy, mannequin called Ivan Ivanovich (the equivalent of Joe Doe or Max Mustermann) that was so distressing uncanny thus prompting technicians to affix a label to his visor lest someone finding Ivan after a mission might not mistake him for an incapacitated cosmonaut or extra-terrestrial. Ivan was auctioned off after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and purchased by Ross Perot, who subsequently donated him to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The mission only consisting of a single trip around the world, it was deorbited shortly