02 March 2007

Laika, The Space Dog

Wandering around the Conquerors of the Space Monument in Moscow in a snowy weather reminded me of a long forgotten era, when US and USSR were entangled in a space race that would only end up with a small step for mankind but a great leap "for capitalism".

The Space Puppy salutes his comrades, the way to communism now lies in space. Let's bark three times for him!

At the beginning the Soviets did a very fine job by sending the first satellite to orbit (it was nothing more than an ever beeping metal ball, but it somehow scared a lot of idiot americans then) and then it was the time for another fatal blow to the evil capitalists: the first "live" specimen in space. Although his was hardly valuable than any citizen's life at those times in USSR, a dog called "Laika" was packed up in a satellite (creatively called the Sputnik-2) and sent to space. (Actually, it was a stray dog that was wandering around in Moscow but I think his ancestry was checked for any bourgeoisie - that's what they actually did to Yuri Gagarin) All that remained after the launch was to cry out that "the Soviets did it "again"" and the americans just ended up in their cheesy frustration once more...the rest is history. We all know that the Americans ended up winning the race (but never ever set up a space station like the MIR, the only place where russian vodka could be enjoyed out of the atmosphere)...

-Hey Comrades, we are sending a pig into space!
-Why don't we send something that we cannot eat?
-Good idea...

Laika in a Roumenian stamp

But what happened to the famous dog that went up "there"? Some may think that it ended up being patted in Kremlin and lived a hero's life, fed with caviar...umm not really. A little research showed that it died up in that confined metal space, due to oxygen deprivation or heat. Anyway, it was a pioneer...They mustn't have told what happened to the Laika to Gagarin (or he may have rethought about stepping into the Vostok)

"They promised me to be the most famous dog in Warshaw Pact...maybe even more famous than the Polish dog Pupchik, which bit 23 Nazi soldiers to death in the Battle of Warshaw"

By the way, that monument (Conquerors of the Space) is really hard to miss. It is a giant metal replica of a rocket launch, just situated in the entrance of VDNh...check out comrade Lenin leading the way to the cosmonauts to outer space...(it mustn't be that hard, just point upward and they will fly their way out.)

"Next time, Comrade Gagarin, wear these red coloured glasses"

1 comment:

dominik said...

the d. inc. ye. have't seen you after svet vorkug. gunaidin efendi. как дела чуваааак?