Laika was a space dog. Actually the first animal to orbit the Earth, as well as the first animal to die in orbit.
After the success of Sputnik 1, Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, wanted a spacecraft launched on November 7, 1957, the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. To meet the November deadline, a new craft would have to be built. Khrushchev specifically wanted his engineers to deliver a “space spectacular,” a mission that would repeat the triumph of Sputnik I, stunning the world with Soviet prowess. The planners settled on an orbital flight with a dog. Three dogs were trained for the Sputnik 2 flight: Albina, Mushka, and Laika.
Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow. Soviet scientists chose to use Moscow strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger. Soviet space-life scientist Oleg Gazenko selected and trained Laika.
Before the launch, one of the scientists took Laika home to play with his children. In a book chronicling the story of Soviet space medicine, Dr. Vladimir Yazdovsky wrote, “I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live.”
The launch took place on November 3, 1957. The Russian scientists had planned to euthanize Laika with a poisoned serving of food. Many rumors circulated about the exact manner of her passing. In 1999, several Russian sources reported that Laika had died when the cabin overheated on the fourth day.
Sputnik 2 was not designed to be retrievable, and Laika had always been intended to die.
Powder! Go Away are an instrumental post-rock band from Russia. I know more about Laika, than about them. They seems to be a bunch of kids, but “Laika Still Wants Go Home” it’s a beautiful and mature instrumental rock album, this possible homage to Laika are quite impressive. Literally. Powder! Go Away successfully recreated a kind of spacial atmosphere, their airy compositions are filled with beautiful layers, suggestive noises, some heavier rock explosions ensure a nice, flowing dynamic to the album. Absolutely awesome.