(via otakugangsta)Source: Flickr / glenhsparky
Laika (Russian: Лайка, meaning “Barker”; c. 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog that became the first animal to orbit 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 animals as a necessary precursor to human missions.
Laika, a stray dog, originally named Kudryavka (Russian: Кудрявка Little Curly), underwent training with two other dogs, and was eventually chosen as the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.
Laika probably died within hours after launch from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The true cause and time of her death was not made public until 2002; instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six, or as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion.
The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure weightlessness, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.
On April 11, 2008, Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika. A small monument in her honour was built near the military research facility in Moscow which prepared Laika’s flight to space. It features a dog standing on top of a rocket.
NASA Develops Ironman-Like Exoskeleton
NASA has recently unveiled a robotic exoskeleton that they have created to help astronauts remain healthy while in space. Named the X1 robotic exoskeleton, the project was a spinoff of NASA’s Robonaut 2 project. The designers think that the exoskeleton will eventually be usable on Earth as a way to assist paraplegics in walking.
The project was a joint development of NASA, The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) of Pensacola, Fla., and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston. The device is designed for a human to wear over their body either assisting or inhibiting joint movement, and weighs about 57lbs.
(via kenobi-wan-obi)Source: christinetheastrophysicist