On August 19, 1960 two Russian dogs Strelka and Belka were rocketed into space. They spent a day in orbit aboard Sputnik 5 before safely returning to Earth. Their travel companions, 42 mice, one gray rabbit and 2 rats. They were the first living creatures sent into orbit to return safely to earth.
Strelka went on 5 more space voyages. She then had puppies one of which, Pushinka, (Fluffy) was given to JFK by Nikita Khrushchev. Pushinka had puppies sired by JFK's Welsh terrier, Charlie. JFK called the 4 puppies, “the Pupniks”. All the Pupniks were eventually given away.
On July 2, 1959 two Russian dogs, Otvazhnaya (Brave One), Snezhinka (Snowflake) and a rabbit Marfusha (Little Martha) were shot in to space. They made a successful sub-orbital voyage and returned unharmed to earth. Lucky them!
Laika's trust, Laika's willingness, Laika's love was the price paid. Laika, a small stray, was trained for a Russian space flight and sent in to orbit alone aboard Sputnik II on November 3, 1957. She was the first animal to orbit in space. She died 4 or 5 hours after lift off from stress and heat exhaustion.
Russian ground control to creatures above. We have shot you into space. Sorry if you do not return. We needed you to trust us and you did. Now we are sorry we have deceived you.
During the 50's and 60's many animals were shot in to space during the Russian and US space race.
The next three paintings are dedicated to some of the Russian Cosmonauts that were not human. These were some of the first animals to be shot up in to space for the "advancement of mankind".
Laika, next Monday's Beast was the first sacrificial star and mar of space flight. Check in next week to read her story and see her painting.
The man loved animals.
His daughter did too.
She drew him pictures and he hung them on the wall.
The dad used to tell his daughter tales about animals and all the things they did.
He made her love them even more.
How a turkey had spooked a pony right in to a pond.
How a parrot had picked up swearing from painters.
How a horse had let out all the other horses in a barn.
How a camel had gotten mad and spit on him.
How an elephant took a cap off a boy's head and smacked him with it.
He clipped and gave his daughter articles and pictures of animals and all the things they did.
The last one he gave her, before he died, was of a baby mountain goat standing on its mother's back.
I finally painted this one for you.