Strelka (Little Arrow). My fascination with Russian Space Dogs started with Belka and Strelka. They are the first earth born creatures to travel into space and return alive and as such I can’t understand why they aren’t more famous.
Zvezdochka (Little Star) was named by Yuri Gagarin and flew in the final practice flight before his mission. Zvezdochka flew with a wooden dummy named Ivan Ivanovich, which was ejected during the capsule’s freefall back to Earth.
blog by Art & Music Magazine writer Simone Scott Warren, with artwork & image text by artist Darren Hayman
On the November 3rd 1957, Russia’s Sputnik 2, a shuttle the size of a small washing machine, launched into space with a solitary passenger. Her name was Kudryavka, although she became known as Laika, she had been plucked from the streets of Moscow, and catapulted into space. She was facing a certain death. Originally reported to have lived for around a week and having died painlessly in orbit, in truth she survived only a few hours after take off, overcome by fear and heat. Laika was the first dog to orbit the earth. In much the same way as the human astronauts they preceded, popular culture remembers very few of the names of those intrepid canine explorers. But Darren Hayman knows each of them and has created 27 artworks, depicting all of those dogs Russia sent into space.
Mishka. The later orbital flights had pressurised cabins but the earlier test flights did not. The very first space suits were designed for canines. Mishka lies with her helmet off, behind her is Tsyganka (Girl Gypsy).
Malyshka (Little One) flew in three sub-orbital flights and survived them all. Smelaya (Bold One) was Malyshka’s first flight comrade who escaped only to be recaptured just before the flight
Space travel is a familiar subject to the ex-Hefner frontman, who has previously written tracks such Alan Bean and a feature on music in space. And he’s not the only musician who’s interest in the subject has led them to create depictions of these events. Paul Rains (Allo’ Darlin’/Hexicon), Sarah Lippett (Fever Dream), Duncan Barrett (Tigercats) and Robert Rotifer (Rotifer) have Hayman under the moniker of Vostok 5 and also made artworks and recordings for a new project. [Vostok 5's exhibition 'Art and Music about People and Animals in Space' ran from 1 - 8 September 2011 at the Outside World Gallery in Shoreditch].
Chernushka (Blackie) is being given a post flight checkup in 1961. I’m curious about the woman in this image. She appears constantly in the publicity of the time alongside the dogs.
Ugolyok (Little Piece of Coal) & Verterok (Breeze) were the last dogs to fly & orbited the earth for 22 days in 1966. Humans didn’t beat their space flight endurance record until 1973 & their record still stands for dogs.
Dezik and Tsygan (Gypsy) were the first dogs to be flown onboard a Russian sub-orbital rocket. Cryptically, they appear as different dogs in different photographs. I want to believe they are here alongside the trilby hatted Sergei Korolev, the soviet rocket designer. Dezik flew again with Lisa but perished when their parachutes failed. Tsygan was retired and lived a long life with scientist Anatoli Blagonravov.
Krazavka (Little Beauty) had a hell of a mission with Damka in 1960. System failures occurred throughout. They eventually made it into orbit, but on descent their ejection seat device failed and they landed with their capsule set to a 60-hour self-destruct. When the frozen capsule was discovered there were no signs of life and the rescuers were unable to gain access. The next morning however, barks were heard and the dogs were freed, alive and well.
Verterok (Breeze) was sent higher than any other man or animal had been sent before. The purpose of flying him (and Ugolyok) through the Van Allen belt was to learn about the effects of radiation.
When I first decided to draw dogs in space I was aware that this was in effect animal cruelty but images like this really bought it home. This is Tsyganka (Girl Gypsy) in one of the first sub orbital pressure suits.
Albina (Whitey) and Kozyavka (Gnat) were two of the most experienced sub-orbital dog cosmonauts. Albina flew three times and twice alongside Kozyavka. They survived all of their flights.
Smelaya (Brave) was either brave or daft. She managed to run away the day before her flight but presumably got hungry and returned to make a later flight along side Malyshka.Find the original article by Simone Scott Warren here.
Zhuchka (Little Bug). Various different space suits were experimented with on early sub-orbital flights.
Damka (Little Lady) and Kozyavka (Gnat) being loaded into their sub-orbital space rocket.
Lisichka (Little Fox).
Had her mission succeeded Lisichka and her companion Bars (Panther) would have been the first dog into space and back alive. Unfortunately the rocket’s boosters exploded on the launch pad and she never left the ground.
Laika (Barker) is the space dog that most people know about. World famous for being the first Earth creature in space, it is unclear exactly how and when she died on her flight. However, this was the only mission where no safe recovery was ever planned. Laika was always meant to be a martyr. This is her statue in Star City.
Verterok (Breeze) was given drugs on his flight to counteract the effects of weightlessness and radiation. His companion Ugolyok was not.
Damka (Little Lady) and Kozyavka (Gnat) inside their sub-orbital test rocket. It is possible that Damka flew five times in total.
Linda flew in only one sub-orbital flight with Malyshka but survived: a short, safe, cosmonaut career.
Rzjik (Ginger) waits patiently after a successful landing.
ZIB a Russian acronym for “Substitute for Missing Dog Bobik”. A stray that was found in haste to replace the errant Bobik
Belyanka and Pestraya had short and uneventful cosmonaut careers, surviving their one sub-orbital flight.
Belka (Little Squirrel) was fighter. Apparently, throughout her mission she was restless, kept barking and tried to free herself of her straps. Who wouldn’t?
Pushinka (Fluffy) never flew. She was one of Strelka’s puppies given to Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy by Russian Premier Nikita Kruschev.
Bobik (Big Bull) ran away a couple days before his scheduled flight, and did not return.
Find the original article by Simone Scott Warren here.