Wednesday, 19 August 2020

korabl-sputnik 2

On this day in 1960, a veritable arch (Корабль-Спутник 2, meaning ship-satellite) was launched into orbit in what was the second attempt to launch a Vostok capsule and safely return it carrying a living manifest of animals and plants—the first try on 28 July having tragically failed with an engine fire, the original canine crew named Chaika (Seagull, see also) and Lisichka (Foxie)—with the spacecraft accommodating a selection of plants, two rats, forty mice and two dogs, Belka and Strelka (previously). All survived the test flight, circling the globe four times. The following year, Strelka had a litter of puppies, one of which was presented to First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy by the Soviet government as a sign of goodwill. Though initially suspicious that the puppy was bugged, Pushinka was given a home at the White House.