Friday, April 01, 2011

Space Dog: Laika

Launched on November 3, 1957, Laika became the first animal (dog) to orbit Earth. Some of you probably knew about this dog. But what most of you may not know is that there was a band from Spain that composed a song in her honor. The band was Mecano and they released the song in 1988 in the album titled 'Descanso Dominical'. The song is in Spanish language but I include the English translation of the lyrics found in the video´s description.



lyrics in English language:
She was Russian and her name was Laika
She was a very ordinary dog
Pass from being a simple animal
To be a World-Wide star

They put her inside a shuttle
To observe her reaction
She was the First Astronaut
In outer space
In outer space

chorus:
Preparing to ignite the rocket to send her 
[Mission] Control on Earth says to Laika: goodbye
oooh oh oh oh
...


In the base everything was silent
Waiting for any signal
All with their helmets on their ears 

They heard the dog barking

While on Earth there was a big a party 

Shouts, laughs, tears and champagne
Laika looked through the window, [asking]
What could this ball of color be?
And what I´m doing revolving around it?



chorus:
Preparing to ignite the rocket to send her
[Mission] Control on Earth says to Laika: goodbye
oooh oh oh oh
...


One night through a telescope
A new light appeared
Nobody was able to give an explanation
To the appearance of the new sun

And if we rely on the legend
Then we should think
That on Earth there´s one dog less
And in the sky, one more Star
And in the sky, one more Star

 

chorus:
Preparing to ignite the rocket to send her
[Mission] Control on Earth says to Laika: goodbye
oooh oh oh oh
goodbye oooh oh oh oh


For me, the most dramatic part of the song is when the lead singer goes: "[Mission] Control on Earth says to Laika: goodbyeeee ooh oh oh oh". In the original Spanish lyric: 'el control en Tierra dice a Laika: adioooos ooooh oh oh oh'. Even though it´s sang in another language, it sounds with so much passion and sorrow. I really like that part.

Laika died about 5 hours after takeoff. Despite what people might say that this was in the name of science blah blah blah, I think it´s still sad. Years later the mission scientist, Oleg Gazenko said:
"The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We shouldn't have done it... We did not learn enough from this mission to justify the death of the dog."
http://anax123.blogspot.com/


UPDATE: Thank you for all your comments. Some people have shown curiosity about what happened to the dog´s body. The answer is that months later the spacecraft was attracted back to Earth by the gravitational pull and it disintegrated during re-entry into the atmosphere.

40 comments:

  1. It's sad thing that they did to Laika. That's a great song though for her. Also, at least it wasn't a human.

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  2. Poor Laika, she took one for the team.

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  3. The Gorillaz remix album is named "Laika Come Home," after the dog. It's sad, but SCIENCE comes first.

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  4. Well I think it's pretty cool that they launched a dog.

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  5. Nice song, even though I don't understand one word of it :)

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  6. 5 hrs only? thats sad

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  7. I had no idea o_O Hmm I don't get it, there are other animals more suited for the operation, why a dog O_o

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  8. Being a dog owner that was rather harsh :(

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  9. poor Laika...can't believe what they did to her :(

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  10. I'm a huge science geek so I loved this one.

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  11. very usefull info I don't know this followed :)

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  12. Yeah, they could've at least tried to see if they could land her back on earth...
    Great song, though <3

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  13. Laika is the coolest dog in the world.

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  14. that reminds me of a old country song

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  15. It is sad to think of her up there all alone and scared.

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  16. It's an okay song, but it's a cool tribute.

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  17. thats awesome! bring laika home!

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  18. Aww Laika must still be part of the space debris that lingers in the Earths gravitation hope one day they recover Laika.

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  19. Aw that is sad. I know, like you said for science but that still breaks my heart. Love the song.

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  20. Sounds really good!

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  21. giving out the vibes...

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  22. Sad but like the blog, 1+ follower.

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  23. Wow, that actually made me have a sad. Nice post!

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  24. lol i didnt now the dog. something amazing and new learned once again.

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  25. Agreed, it was cruel to kill the dog when America could bring back all of its test subjects safely

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  26. Poor little laika...that dog must've been scared shitless.

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  27. Dogs are the best. Screw space monkeys.

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