Dog in Space

blog post

On this date, November 3, 1957, the Soviet Union launched a dog name Laika—aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft.

On this date, November 3, 1957, the team on which I served was nearly finished with the installation of new electronic intercept equipment at the Army Security Agency ‘new building’ at Chitose Station, Hokkaido, Japan.

The team wasn’t directly involved in TELINT [mfn]Telemetry Intelligence – collecting and analyzing of signals from and about guided missiles and space missions[/mfn], but we installed the equipment. Thus team members were in everyone’s room and had secondary, first-hand information of which they were sworn to forget after they they heard. posted details: Laika, part Siberian husky, lived as a stray on the Moscow streets before being enlisted into the Soviet space program. Laika survived for a few hours as a passenger in the USSR’s second artificial Earth satellite, kept alive by a sophisticated life-support system. Electrodes attached to her body provided scientists on the ground with important information about the biological effects of space travel.

In 2002 BBC reported details about Laika’s death.

Knowing others had the mission to do so, I’m sure persons in the ASA and NSA had details of the dog’s demise fairly soon after it happened. However, most were not allowed to discuss those things outside designated circles for at least 25 years.