Video: On this day 60 years to world's first doggonaut Laika's journey to space
New York : 60 years ago on October 4, Laika - a mixed-breed dog - became the first living creature to be sent into the space orbit.
The Soviet Union launched Laika on the Sputnik 2 mission on Nov. 3, 1957. The milestone came less than a month after the Soviets kicked off the Space Age, and the Cold War space race, with the launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4.
Laika was the first dog to be sent into space, but not the first animal. Fruit flies are the firsts to experience space travel after they were launched by the United States on a suborbital mission in February 1947.
Sputnik 2 was a suicide mission for the poor dog; the satellite was not designed to come safely back to Earth. Telemetry data showed that Laika survived the launch, according to Anatoly Zak of RussianSpaceWeb.com.
"Decades later, several Russian sources revealed that Laika survived in orbit for four days and then died when the cabin overheated," Zak wrote. "According to other sources, severe overheating and the death of the dog occurred only five or six hours into the mission."
Sputnik 2 also died in space after its batteries went off on Nov. 10, 1957.
"With all systems dead, the spacecraft continued circling the Earth until April 14, 1958, when it re-entered the atmosphere after 2,570 orbits (2,370 orbits according to other sources) or 162 days in space," Zak wrote. "Many people reportedly saw a fiery trail of Sputnik 2 as it flew over New York and reached the Amazon region in just 10 minutes during its re-entry."
After few years of study, humans were also sent to space.