50 years of dogs in space

A dog named Laika lies within the Sputnik 2 spacecraft during preparations for her 1957 launch. Laika was the first living creature sent into space, but lived for only a few hours after launch due to the failure of the satellite's thermal control system.

November 3 marked the 50th anniversary of a milestone mission — the Russian Sputnik 2 launch that put a dog named Laika into orbit.

Laika's flight marked the beginning of a pilgrimage that has brought terrestrial life forms to the moon and very likely far beyond. That pilgrimage will only expand in the coming decades, and will surely have far wider significance than it has to date.