History offspring mongrels, which paved the way into space

Engineers Sharpen Laika in a narrow, windowless space capsule "Sputnik 2" November 3, 1957, they knew that they had seen her for the last time. Following the success of "Sputnik 1" October 4, Nikita Khrushchev ordered to send into space a dog for a month. Yes, before the cosmonauts and astronauts in inky obscurity went dashing stray dogs. Their descendants were there where nobody dared to expect. How to return the dogs themselves - no one knew, and did not plan to.

History offspring mongrels, which paved the way into space

"This was a one-way mission," says Doug Millard, curator of space in the London Science Museum. "It was at the height of the Cold War, and the case was serious because seething struggle between the superpowers."

Once in orbit was Laika, the world learned that within a week it will live in complete comfort, with plenty of food and water before you leave safely. In 2002, it was found out that the dog lasted only seven hours before dying of heat exhaustion and panic.

But in the Soviet Union, this mission was another propaganda victory and Laika - a national hero. Running a large capsule size of 113 kilograms with a live animal on board, Russian were ahead of the rest - and especially Americans - on the part of the space and missile technology.

"On the one hand, we can say that the effect has been as large as in the case with the first" Sputnik, "says Millard. "It certainly has had a serious impact on the United States - is so serious that it became apparent that the Soviets could put a nuclear warhead on a missile, and deliver it to the United States."

The Soviet Union went to space with dogs since the first days of its space program, while engineers tried to rebuild the V2 captured by Wernher von Braun. The first flights were suborbital, the dogs were sent into the atmosphere and returns to earth. Unlike the Huskies, the majority of the dogs survived. While Americans prefer to experiment with monkeys and chimpanzees, Soviet scientists chose dogs because they are easier to train, and there were many people become attached to them (and vice versa). All purebred dogs were females.

History offspring mongrels, which paved the way into space

"The question was how to catch them," says Millard. "Just imagine how the space program participants roam the streets of Moscow in search of suitable dogs and convince those to go with them."

"They are healthy dogs were needed, so they could not mistreated them. They were given the name of its own nursery and well-fed - the dog had to be happy and grateful to the people who so treat her. "

Dogs are given a thorough medical tests and extensive training programs, so that they feel comfortable in the space suits and cramped capsules. Most fly in pairs, allowing scientists to compare data from two animals.

In just three years the Soviet space dog made history. August 19, 1960 Belka and Strelka were launched into orbit together with two rats, rabbits, fruit flies and plants.

"The flight went well, and all the medical data available to their space suits, were OK," said Wicks Southgate, currently working on a book about space dogs. "But by the time they reach orbit, none of them did not move."

History offspring mongrels, which paved the way into space

Then, on the fourth orbit, the proteins start to feel sick. "It shook them both," said Southgate. "From the videos recorded on board, you can see how the dogs bark and move, but medical records showed that they are calm and do not particularly tense." After seventeen orbits ground controllers activated retro-rockets and dropped dogs to Earth. When the capsule is opened, Belka and Strelka were happy and well. A few hours later they became known to the whole world. Dogs have appeared on the covers of newspapers, talking about them on television.

"Their fame spread internationally - stamps, postcards, they were absolutely everywhere," said Southgate. "It was phenomenal."

And then the story took a completely different turn.

In June 1961, two months after Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev held their first joint summit in Vienna. The meeting was heavy. But during dinner, Jackie Kennedy started talking with the Soviet leader on cosmic dogs.

"He mentioned that the arrows were puppies, and she said that he should send one of her pups," says the historian of the Presidential Pet Museum Andrew Hager. "After a few weeks in the White House, there was one of the puppies with a slight Russian passport."

After an FBI dog checked for bugs, fluff lodged in the first family. Although the US president was allergic to dogs, fluff spent time with the children and made friends - made good friends - with another dog of the White House, Charlie. There were a pair of dog puppies. "It was a wonderful novel of the Cold War," says Hager.

But giving a feather in his opinion, it was of great diplomatic significance, and even help to prevent World War III. "It was more than just a gift; I think Fluff is historic, "said Hager. "Kennedy and Khrushchev supported this feedback and exchanged gifts at the time."

History offspring mongrels, which paved the way into space

"And it actually helped them to cool down when it came to the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later," says Hager. "I think that the fluff has become part of the thought process, which is conducted by the leaders of the missile crisis, and the reason that forced Kennedy to think, do not listen to the vultures of the White House and not to bomb Moscow."

Two puppies Fuzzies were given to American children who have written Jackie Kennedy with a request to take care of the dogs. When Kennedy was killed in 1963, a feather gardener handed the White House, and later she was again delivered of pups.

Hager tried to trace the descendants of a feather, but still could not. "Perhaps, in the United States, still live the descendants of Russian dogs astronauts," he says.

As for the space dogs, after the first successful flight of astronauts closed the program. But Millard believes that these pioneers deserve more space than mark on the cosmic history fields.

"I think that neither they nor the US flew chimpanzees have not yet received the recognition they deserve," says Millard. "The Way to the Stars for people was paved with dogs and monkeys."