Old Newspapers: Red Satellite Up With Dog

On November 3, 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik II timed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Sputnik II was bigger and better than Sputnik I and carried a dog Laika – the first animal to orbit the Earth.

The American headlines did not suffer from subtlety and political correctness at that time:

Kansas City Star coverage of Sputnik II

*closeup of the article.

Reds Plan To Save The Dog

*closeup of the article.

In fact Reds never planned to save the dog since the spacecraft wasn’t designed for landing. This photo taken four years later shows other Soviet space animals.

Tamara Kosaryeva holding dogs at Soviet Academy of Sciences. March 1961. © Time Inc. James Whitmore

New Power For Sputnik

*closeup of the article.

While the newspaper coverage featured dumbed-down descriptions such as “baby moon”, the Life Magazine published a detailed article about the satellite, explaining such concepts as propulsion and described the American plans for space exploration.

Space shuttle as imagined in 1957. © Time Inc.

And now some unrelated bonus pictures.

My favorite before and after photo of all time: