Several years ago, this mosaic of Yuri Gagarin—the Soviet Union’s first cosmonaut to enter space—was completely painted over during the restoration of this building, in Karaganda. Fortunately, this artwork was later recovered and restored.
The first earthling in space was Laika the dog, launched into space by the Soviets on November 3, 1957. She never returned alive. It was a mission designed, in part, to study the effects of space travel on an animal, but the true story of her noble canine sacrifice left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, including mine.
Here’s a far happier version of what may have happened on her historic journey. I like this one.
(by Avgousta Zourelidi)
This is very cute.
Laika’s picture is based on this one of Chief Designer Sergei Korolyov and a dog (though it was taken in 1951, so it’s not a space dog):