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:

  • Nick

    You know, after the whole shoe-pounding-the-podium thing, callously killing the dog didn’t help your image. hell, have the schoolkids in America had been practising kneeling under their school desks and kissingng their asses goodbye for year at that point…
    Bad, bad Soviets!

    • From what I’ve read the shoe-pounding incident never happened, there are multiple witnesses who denied ever seeing it. And dogs are probably still dying every day for lesser causes like shampoo testing and stuff.

      • Nick

        dude: not only did the shoe pounding incident actually happen, right afterward a banana republic dictator pulled the same thing at the u.n. because, he claimed, his country had invented shoe pounding. khrushchev immediately went to the podium, was recognized on a point of order, and loudly denounced the 3rd rate dictator, claiming that the ussr had invented shoe pounding shortly after it had invented baseball.

        • You had me until baseball. No one would claim being an inventor of this most dreadful of games.

          • Nick

            true story: and they stuck to their story until just before the berlin wall came down.
            seem to recall the soviets boasted of inventing many other things back then. it was sort of a running gag in the u.s. at the time….the soviets invented hot dogs; the soviets invented lomonade; the soviets invented marilyn monroe…

          • That part is true, Russians did have their own people who invented things like Popov instead of Marconi, Yablochkoff instead of Edison. But no one would claim baseball.

          • Rick in PV
          • Rick in PV

            Spoken like a true Russian!

  • David Larson

    On a non Sputnik note the Star front page mentions the opening of the over haul base for TWA which was located up by what is now our airport. My grandfather got to make that move up there and I barely remember a trip up there to see it thinking we drove for hours to get there and man talk about out in the middle of no where. I know that and my memory today of it was it being the biggest open damn building I was ever in for many years to come. Wow I wish we had some pictures of that place from back then. But those was times when film was only used for special events like weddings, deaths and Christmas it seems.