Cosmos has long attracted man, attracted the eye, excited the imagination of scientists. People have long wanted to know what is hidden outside our planet. And it is very symbolic that it was not people who first discovered this secret, but namely dogs, our faithful, intelligent and faithful friends.
Everyone knows that dogs were the first to visit space, but before the flight, these four-legged astronauts underwent rigorous selection and training, they were accustomed to weightlessness, overload.
Space has always attracted man, but the risk of flying was very high, so it was decided to send dogs on a test flight. They were selected according to strict criteria. These were supposed to be young individuals no older than 6 years old, healthy, resistant to environmental influences, with a calm, complaisant character. Dogs of a light color were preferred, as they were better seen on monitors.
As a result, thoroughbred dogs turned out to be unsuitable for flying, and it was the mongrels who were selected even in kennels and on the streets.
First space flight
The honor of going to the first flight went to two dogs nicknamed Desik and Gypsy. This flight took place on July 22, 1951 at the Kapustin Yar Cosmodrome. When the rocket climbed 100 kilometers, the compartment with the dogs disconnected and flew to the ground. At an altitude of 7 kilometers a parachute opened, and the dogs landed safely. Academician Korolev personally met dogs with great joy, because a safe flight meant a further continuation of the study. Academician Blagonravov took the gypsy for himself, but the dog Desik continued his career. Unfortunately, the next flight, which occurred a week later, the parachute did not open and the capsule with the dogs broke.
Meanwhile, space exploration did not stop, on August 15, 1951, Mishka and Chizhik participated in the flight, and on August 19, Ryzhik and the Bold. Unfortunately, there were tragedies, for example, on August 28, Mishka and Chizhik died on their second flight. In September, a flight was also planned, which almost fell off due to the flight of the main pilot - the dog the Brave. It was decided to replace the dog, as a result, an unprepared dog who lived near the dining room flew into space with the dog Neputev. Despite everything, the flight was successful, and the dog was given the name ZIB (short for "Spare Vanished Bobik").
In 1954, for the first time, a method of catapulting dogs was carried out not in the compartment, but in an individual spacesuit, which was successfully tested on July 26 with the dogs Ryzhik and Lise-2. After that, scientists gradually switched to orbital flights.
The first earth satellite was launched in 1957, on October 4, and the era of rapid space exploration began with this significant event. And on November 3, the satellite with the dog Laika was put into orbit. Unfortunately, the satellite and the passenger burned out in flight through dense layers of the atmosphere.
Space Heroes - Squirrel and Arrow
Only two years later, the experiments continued. On August 19, 1960, a rocket with dogs, mice, two white rats, several species of insects, plants and mushrooms on board entered orbit. The ship made 17 revolutions around the Earth, and stayed in orbit for more than a day.
The legendary Squirrel and Strelka participated in this flight, although Seagull and Chanterelle were to fly instead, who died tragically a little earlier during an unsuccessful flight.
Squirrel and Strelka became celebrities, the whole world spoke about them, because these two purebred dogs were the first to go into orbit and return alive. By the way, both lived to old age.
For the first human flight, it was necessary to make sure that the successful flight of Squirrel and Strelka was not a pure coincidence. Two successful missions were made, but four more attempts followed to repeat the launch of a rocket with animals into orbit, which ended tragically, followed.
Star Flight Asterisks
March 1961 was marked by two successful launches. The dog Chernushka, accompanied by "Ivan Tsarevich" (such a name was given to a mannequin), went into orbit on March 9, and successfully returned to earth. After this, on March 25, the dummy "Ivan Tsarevich" flew already with the dog Zvezdochka.
As a result, man's journey into space became possible. And on April 12, finally, the Vostok spacecraft with Lieutenant Yuri Gagarin on board flew into orbit.
Thus, over 9 years, 29 launches were completed, during the entire experiment 18 dogs were killed. At least 30 dogs took part in the flights, most flew several times.
Dogs went into space even after a human flight, already in 1966, February 22. The dogs Veterok and Ugolek took part in the flight, they spent almost three weeks in orbit, and landed safely on Earth.
Thanks to the self-sacrifice and courage of the four-legged astronauts, a tremendous breakthrough occurred in space research. And the feat of Squirrel and Arrows went down in history as one of the most striking events in space flights.