Remembering Sputnik

Feature

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where were you when Sputnik launched? Russian émigrés in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach conjure up their memories from 50 years ago. Produced by Pejk Malinovski.

    Music Playlist
  • Sputnik
    Artist: Timeship
    Album: Spacewalk from Eden to Mars
    Label: Timeship studio
    Purchase: Amazon

Contributors:

Pejk Malinovski

Comments [2]

Oswald Gerhard

...but why no bitter tears for those many cosmonauts who also died in the service of the space program? Animals being shot into space may have seemed a meek approach---but those were the times.
Well, I'm not looking to pick a fight. All the same, I enjoyed the piece. There was a time when the prospect of being catapulted into space seemed a dream that transcended the duelling rhetoric of the time, a chance to speed from the safety of the Earth.

Oct. 06 2007 10:16 PM
Carolyn Luttrell from Wilmington, Delaware, USA

I was dismayed and revolted to listen to the "fantasy" story relative to the thoughts of Laika, the Russian space dog. Sputnik 2 is an example of animal cruelty and should not be glorified, especially by NPR, which purports to be civilized and educational.

TLaika had to have been a very sweet dog to have been selected for this program. Who would pick a dog that bit or fought back?

Because Sputnik 2 wasn't designed to be retrieved, Laika was always intended to die in space. She apparently died from stress and oveheating - her cabin was 104 degrees F. Did the author of the "fantasy" piece know that? I doubt her last thoughts were happy. She must have been suffering terribly.

The whole episode is a story of cruelty to a dog "rescued" from a shelter after wandering the streets of Moscow. How dare the author think that Laika was happy to die for the betterment of humanity or even that she even died in peace? She was a helpless, terrified animal trapped in a human scheme.

My understanding is that some former Soviet scientists have since expressed regret that Laika was allowed to die. The trip did not justify her death.

Shame on Studio 360 for running the piece, and shame on the author for writing it. I will make it a point not to buy any of his books.

Oct. 06 2007 04:04 PM

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