Russian Space Dogs

Before Laika, there were a number of sub-orbital test flightsą. Albina and Tsyganka were blasted to an altitude of 53 miles and ejected. They were safely recovered. Later flights reached as high as 300 miles.

Then came Sputnik 1, followed by Sputnik 2 with Laika.

The first table lists orbital (or intended to be orbital) canine flights.

The bottom table contains sub-orbital flights. Concerning the sub-orbital flights, there is much conflicting evidence as to the names of the dogs and even the dates.

Name Flight Date Outcome
Laika (Barker) Sputnik 2 3 November 1957 No recovery system. Was poisoned and died in space.˛
Bars (Panther or Lynx)3
Lisichka (Little Fox)
attempted flight of Vostok prototype 28 July 1960 Booster exploded during launch, both killed.
Belka (Squirrel)
Strelka (Little Arrow)
Sputnik 5 19 August 1960 Spent a day in orbit, safely recovered.
Pchelka (Little Bee)
Mushka (Little Fly)
Sputnik 6 1 December 1960 Spent a day in orbit, fault in retrofire caused craft to stray off-course.4
Damka (Little Lady)5
Krasavka (Beauty)6
attempted flight of Vostok prototype 22 December 1960 Upper stage failed, launch aborted, dogs recovered after a suborbital flight.
Chernushka (Blackie) Sputnik 9 9 March 1961 One orbit, recovered.
Zvezdochka (Little Star) Sputnik 10 25 March 1961 One orbit rehearsal for Vostok 1. Safe recovery.
Verterok (Little Wind)
Ugolyok (Little Piece of Coal)
Kosmos 110 22 February 1966 Safely landed after a 22 day flight.

1) Tsygan and Dezik flew the first suborbital flight on 22 July 1951. They both survived. Dezik flew again on 29 July 1951, this time with Lisa. The dogs died when the parachute failed to deploy. Tsygan never flew again and lived to old age.  Numerous other suborbital flights were made through 1960, not always with happy endings.

2) How Laika (actual name, Kudryavka or "Little Curly") died has always been subject to conjecture. Popular belief is that she was fed poison, since she could not be recovered. That may actually have been the plan. However, after the first couple hours the temperature and humidity in the capsule began to build. Telemetry began to fail about five hours into the flight and events thereafter can never be known for certain. It is likely that Laika died from overheating on 3 November after only several hours in orbit.

3) Bars was also called Chaika (Gull).

4) The faulty retrofire caused the capsule to go off course. Rather than have the capsule land outside of Soviet territory, the capsule (with passengers) was destroyed.

5) Damka was also called Shutka (Joke) and Zemchuzhnaya (Pearly).

6) Krasavka was also called Kometka (Comet) and Zhulka (Mutt).

Name Date Outcome
Tsygan (Gypsy)
Dezik
22 July 1951 Recovered safely
Lisa (Fox)
Dezik
29 July 1951 Parachute failed to deploy; both dogs killed
Mishka
Chizhik
15 August 1951 Recovered safely
Smelaya (Bold)7
Malyshka (Little One)
19 August 1951 Recovered safely
Neputevyy
ZIB8
3 September 1951 Recovered safely
Damka (Little Lady)
Mishka
2 July 1954 Recovered safely
Damka (Little Lady)
Rzyhik9 (Ginger)
7 July 1954 Recovered safely
Lisa-2 (Fox)
Ryzhik9 (Ginger)
26 July 1954 Recovered safely
Albina
Tsyganka
25 January 1955 Recovered safely
Lisa-2 (Fox)
Bulba
5 February 1955 Recovery failed; both dogs killed
Malyshka
Knopka
4 November 1955 Recovered safely
Albina (whitey)
Kozyavka (Gnat)
14 May 1956 Recovered safely
Malyshka
Linda
31 May 1956 Recovered safely
Albina (Whitey)
Kozyavka (Gnat)
7 June 1956 Recovered safely
Rzyhaya
Damka (Little Lady)
16 May 1957 Recovered safely
Rzyhaya
Dzhoyna
24 May 1957 Cabin decompression; both dogs killed
Belka
Modnista (Fashionable)
25 August 1957 Recovered safely
Palma10
Pushok
21 February 1958 Cabin decompression; both dogs killed
Kusachka
Palma
2 August 1958 Recovered safely
Kusachka
Palma
13 August 1958 Recovered safely
Belyanka
Pestraya
27 August 1958 Recovered safely
2 unknown dogs (possibly Damka and Kozyavka) 19 September 1958 Recovered safely
Zhul'ka
Knopka
31 October 1958 Recovered safely
Otvazhnaya
Snezhinka
2 July 1959 Recovered safely
Otvazhnaya
Zemchuznaya
10 July 1959 Recovered safely
Otvazhnaya
Malek
15 June 1960 Recovered safely
Otvazhnaya
Zemchuznaya
24 June 1960 Recovered safely
Palma
Malek
16 September 1960 Recovered safely
Otvazhnaya
Neva
22 September 1960 Recovered safely

7) Smelaya ran away the day before her flight, but returned the next day.

8) Bobik (Big Bull) ran away a couple days before the flight, and did not return. A stray was grabbed off the streets of Moscow and dubbed ZIB, a Russian acronym for "Substitute for Missing Dog Bobik".

9) Also spelled Rzjik.

10) There is some debate as to whether or not this flight ever took place. It is curious that one dog named Palma flies several times subsequently, but it is possible those was another dog with the same name.


China also flew two dogs from sounding rockets. (See Chinese Space Dogs)

 


Page last modified: 19 November 2013 21:42:26.