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A dog named Lycra is still floating in space, 62 years to the day

Space Dog Lycra

By Carlo PhilPublished 12 months ago 3 min read
A dog named Lycra is still floating in space, 62 years to the day
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

In today's aviation industry, it is no longer a difficult task for humans to go into space. But at the beginning of the process of space exploration, no country dares to risk the pilot into space, after all, this is a completely unknown area, for the size of the risk, no one can predict. In this case, animals became the test subjects to enter space. In the first step into space before the pilot Gagarin, there is a dog named Lycra instead of humans, into space. So far, this "space dog" has been floating in the universe for 62 years.

By Sebastian Coman Travel on Unsplash


During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States fought against each other in every way. For space exploration, the Soviet Union wanted to take the lead, so in 1957, the Soviet Union decided to send cosmonauts to space. But at that time, there had never been a precedent for a human being going into space, and no one dared to send cosmonauts into space. So the Soviet Union also decided that before officially sending cosmonauts, first use animals to experiment to see how living things can survive in the environment of space.

At this time, a stray dog, Lycra, living on the streets, became the target of researchers. For such a significant relationship in the experiment, a single choice of a dog for training is not enough, so in the same period, the researchers selected a total of ten dogs as training subjects to see which dog can eventually meet their requirements.

Since Lycra had a great deal of experience in survival, he was able to quickly become familiar with the researchers' training, and eventually, he stood out among the many stray dogs and became the first dog to be sent into space. For the Soviet Union at that time, it was not possible to send Lycra to space and then bring him back, so Lycra's final fate was to wander the universe.


A month after the Soviet Union successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite, Lanka was launched into space on Sputnik II. According to the Soviet research team's plan, they wanted Lanka to survive in space for a week. Therefore, the satellite in which Lanka was riding also prepared enough survival supplies for it.

Although Soviet officials told everyone that Lanka successfully survived in space for a week before leaving, it was not until 2002 that a scientist who had been involved in this research stated that within a few hours after Lanka entered space, its body underwent very drastic changes, with its heart rate changing more than three times the normal condition. Not only that, because the space suit on Lycra can not do a good job of insulation, so Lycra should be the death of living heat.


After Lanka's condition was known to everyone, the U.S. side also condemned the Soviet Union's actions. But having said that, the appearance of Lycra made a great contribution to the later human moon landing. After all, dogs are also a mammal, and their condition after entering space has a certain reference role for humans themselves.

Although Lycra, the first dog in space, unfortunately, died in the universe, but later, with the gradual development of Soviet aviation technology, the second time the dog was sent to space also managed to survive. With this successful example, in 1961, Gagarin also completed a mission around the Earth as the first human cosmonaut to go into space. Since then, mankind's exploration of the universe is also a step further.


As a pioneer of human exploration of the universe, Lycra's fate is relatively tragic, it died in space, floated for 62 years, and still can not return to Earth. But for the whole human aviation, Lycra has made a very great contribution. In the hours after it went into space, mankind realized that going into space was a very difficult thing to do, but it was because of Lycra's sacrifice that mankind's subsequent success became inevitable.

Although Lycra was originally a carefree stray dog and became the first "space dog", its end is relatively tragic, but in the process of human development, there are bound to be some people or animals to make sacrifices, in their sacrifices, human society to further development. Although Lycra is only a dog, it is just as worthy of the respect and attention of all humans.


About the Creator

Carlo Phil

Science and art are two sides of a coin

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