the Earth – as well as the first animal to die in orbit.
As little was known about the impact of spaceflight
on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, there was no expectation of Laika's survival. Some scientists believed humans would be unable to survive the launch or the conditions of outer space, so engineers viewed flights by non-human animals as a necessary precursor to human missions.
Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I’m sorry about it. We shouldn’t have done it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog.
Prayers were said for the dog and people were asked to observe a minute's silence each day 'with special thoughts for her early and safe return to Earth'.
That does not raise my apprehension, not one iota.