Monday, September 24, 2007

An Early Birthday for the ‘Travelling Companion’ Sputnik 1

As good a reason as any to post one of these great stamps!

A half century ago – well not quite that yet, October 4th in the Gregorian calendar -- the mighty CCCP sent Sputnik 1 -- equipped with a transponder that sent the letters 'Hi' in Morse Code! – into space. A few months later they sent the dog Laika into space on Sputnik II with no provision for the poor dog's return. And so, as popular mythology would have it, the space race began. I still feel sorry for Laika, however. The dog is understood to have died from heat exhaustion well before the canine's spacecraft burned up on re-entry.

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