Dogs Belka and Strelka are the first cosmonauts of the animal world

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Собаки Белка и Стрелка

Dogs Belka and Strelka are the most famous animals in the world, who became passengers of the spaceship. Unusual astronauts first made an extraterrestrial flight, returning alive and unharmed. It was these famous pets that opened the way to space for man. Due to their "contribution", scientists managed to find out the influence of space flight factors on the organism of a living being. This allowed us to create safe flight conditions for humans and ensure a safe return to Earth. Let's get acquainted with the peculiarities of the flight of dogs in more detail.

Dogs Squirrel and Arrow are the pioneers of outer space. The beginning of time

Dogs Belka and Strelka were not planned participants in the space trip, they were only duplicates of other animals, which were assigned the main roles. Initially, scientists prepared Chaika and Lisichka (other dogs) for space exploration, but the animals died during the launch of the rocket a few weeks earlier.

The predecessor of the famous dogs was Laika, who was sent into space. However, the imperfect work of life support systems led to the death of the animal. This happened on the 5th circle, which the ship made around the Earth's atmosphere. After the death of the "pilot" the rocket was not returned to the station, it cruised around the orbit for another 5 months, after which it burnt in the atmosphere.

In addition to dogs, other animals participated in the scientific experiment. The subjects of the study were monkeys, turtles, cats, rats, frogs, guinea pigs, newts and other animals. An interesting fact of space exploration is the birth of a quail chick. Scientists have launched into the box a box with eggs of a bird, during its flight several of them hatched under conditions of gravity. Two chicks even returned to Earth alive, being able to withstand the harsh conditions of space.

Dogs Belka and Strelka contributed to the conquest of space, which is hard to overestimate. They paved the way before Yuri Gagarin, who, like heroic dogs, became the first representative of his species, who left Earth and again returned to it.

Dogs spent more than 24 hours in open space, which allowed studying the effect of weightlessness on the human body. Theories of scientists took the form of axioms, which made it possible to make Gagarin's flight safe. During the flight, the effectiveness of life support systems was tested. Thanks to which it became clear: to send a person into space and return him unscathed is a real task.

In order to monitor the condition of dogs, they were wearing special suits, which recorded various changes in their condition and transferred data to medical and biological equipment.

Before going on a flight, the dogs were provided with preparatory work, which allows them to accustom them to a closed space, a dog toilet on board, and also adaptation of animals to the temperature regime of the ship. In addition to the Squirrel and the Arrow, there were several rats and mice on board the spacecraft that did not make history, perpetuating their names.

The launch of the rocket took place in orbit of Baikonur at 15.44. A day later the ship returned to the station. After the return of the dog, Belka and Strelka became real heroes, they were attracted to everyone's attention. Immediately after the completion of the "expedition", the animals were shown on television and were invited to various press conferences.

The choice of heroes - how was it?

Dogs Squirrel and Strelka were selected for flight into space not by accident, they met strict selection criteria. Applicants for the role of the first cosmonauts were thousands of dogs, but only two were selected - the body weight of which was not more than 7 kg, while the height should not exceed 37 cm. At the same time, great demands were made on the nature of the animals.

They should have a calm and balanced nature, do not react to stress, remain calm even in critical situations. The thing is that flying is already a huge test for animals. And if something goes wrong during the expedition (which was supposed to be scientists), then the animal must remain unperturbed.

Therefore, the question of the participation of thoroughbred dogs in flight was rejected almost immediately. Such pets have too tender and sensitive character, are very picky in food. After a series of experiments, scientists came to the conclusion: you can send into space only stray dogs that are kept in nurseries.

When choosing animals, the role was played not only by "internal" qualities, but also by the appearance of dogs. The squirrel and the arrow were selected for aesthetic reasons. The fact is that scientists understood - returning pets will become the object of mass attention, therefore they should have a presentable appearance. After all, they will constantly flicker on the TV screens, and participate in international broadcasts.

Dogs Belka and Strelka had a pretty appearance, the right proportions, differed in friendliness (which is also not unimportant for regular public appearances and contact with the press). Pets had an interesting combination of colors - white and dark brown.

What you probably did not know about the flight - interesting facts:

  1. An interesting fact is that initially instead of the Arrow to the flight prepared another mongrel . However, at the last moment, it seemed to scientists that its front paws were too crooked, that it would not look aesthetically pleasing in memorable pictures. Pet was replaced only because of this small defect, and the flight went to the Arrow;
  2. The first names of the dogs were the Marquise and Albina. However, at the last moment the leading scientist of the experiment Mitrofan Nedelin demanded to rename the pupils into Russian-speaking names that would praise the Motherland and immediately tell the whole world about the nationality of the pioneers;
  3. Dog Squirrel and Arrow are complete antipodes of each other in nature. The squirrel has a very active and lively temperament, she showed leadership in the team, one of the first to adapt to the conditions of space and showed the best results during the tests. The arrow, on the contrary, behaved shyly and even closedly, but showed friendliness towards the person, coped well with "space" tasks;
  4. At the time of launching the rocket, the dogs were 2.5 years old;
  5. After the completion of the flight, pets became the object of close attention. Dogs Belka and Strelka repeatedly became parents. Puppy Shooters even gave the wife of US President Kennedy;
  6. Despite the severe trials that dogs were subjected to by scientists, the animals lived a long life, dying with their death in deep old age ;
  7. At night, before the flight of a domestic ship, an American satellite flew over the station, which, thanks to its large dimensions and the reflective surface, could be clearly seen from the Earth with the naked eye. Dogs Belka and Strelka began to bark loudly at the American satellite, which gave the situation a special comicality;
  8. The launch of the missile was strictly classified, which was due primarily to the unsuccessful flight of the Fox and Chaika on the eve, which exploded on the ship, never leaving the Earth's orbit. Therefore, an experiment of an international character was announced only after the successful return of dogs to Baikonur.

Preparing to launch the Squirrel and Arrow keys:

  • Preparation for the flight began a few months before the expected date of launch of the missile;
  • Dog Squirrel and Arrow were constantly placed in small-volume booths, gradually increasing the length of their stay there. After the removal of claustrophobic attacks, artificial noise, characteristic of outer space, was added to the cabins;
  • Training in nutrition from a special apparatus that produces food in the form of a vein. Also, pets are accustomed to the constant wearing of clothes, which fixes the state of health, due to which it is possible to determine the influence of space on the general well-being and adequacy of the life support systems on the ship;
  • A test of the vestibular apparatus of animals-placing dogs in pressure chambers and centrifuges.

Features of the spaceship

The ship used to launch the dogs into space was called Sputnik. It, in fact, was the prototype of the rocket "Vostok", which will open the doors to the man outside the home planet. Scientific and engineering institutions of the country took part in the creation of the rocket.

The structure of the ship was quite simple - the cockpit for the pilots and the instrument compartment. The following items were located in the compartment:

  1. Equipment for life support;
  2. Equipment for monitoring the physical condition of pets;
  3. Orientation systems, radiometers;
  4. Technique for fixing technical parameters: noise, speed, temperature;
  5. Equipment for monitoring the operation of other equipment;
  6. Necessary devices that guarantee a safe landing;
  7. Other living organisms: mice, rats, plants, fungal cultures, insects, microbes.

The cockpit became the prototype of a modern camera for finding a person. There were important things in flight: food, ventilation systems, water supply, sewerage system, catapult means, television cameras, radio transmitters.

First flight to space

Dogs Belka and Arrow left Earth's orbit in 1960. The cabin in which the animals were located was lowered into the rocket a few hours before the start. The main person in charge of preparing the launch was S.P. Korolev. During the start and exit from the Earth's atmosphere, the dogs experienced increased excitement, frequent palpitations. However, after an hour, the condition of the animals normalized, and the pulse came to normal.

The equipment for life support fully satisfied the needs of pets in the conditions of outer space. Feeding machines "offered" animals to eat food and water several times a day. At the same time, the air in the chamber was constantly cleaned - the regenerating substance absorbed carbon dioxide, thereby releasing the necessary level of oxygen. Medical equipment recorded all indicators of the vital activity of dogs during the flight.

In addition to the technical indicators, the dogs were monitored 24 hours a day by television. Thanks to the presence of the film, scientists could compare the external condition of the pet and its indices of internal activity at any time during the animal's stay in space. However, scientists were able to observe the behavior of dogs with delay, because the television signal was delayed.

Dogs Squirrel and Arrow - behavior during the flight:

  • Calm state during the experiment;
  • Manifestation of a healthy state of pets: periodic activity and good appetite;
  • Slight influence of gravity on the circulatory system of dogs;
  • Preservation of body temperature throughout the flight;
  • Preservation of the rate of metabolic processes;
  • By the end of the day, pet signs began to show signs of anxiety in the space, Squirrel began to vomit, the dog tried to escape from the straps.

On August 20, 1960, Sputnik landed again at the station. However, the ship landed 10 kilometers from the specified point. The first visual contact made it clear that the dogs of Squirrel and Strelka were feeling well and had a good flight. After a visual inspection, the dogs were handed over to the rescue team, which examined in more detail the physiological condition of the animals.

The results of space exploration

From the scientific point of view, the dogs Belka and Strelka made a huge contribution to the development of science. Thanks to their flight, the scientists were convinced that launching a person into space is possible and does not pose a threat to life. Also, scientists were able to identify the safe time of a person's being in zero gravity, the number of turns around the Earth and other factors that would make Gagarin's flight safe.

During the flight of dogs the scientists managed to obtain the necessary knowledge about the physical, biochemical and cytological reactions of the organism to the conditions of gravitation. Flying into space caused stress in dogs, but the morale of pets quickly recovered after returning to Earth.

The scientists were confused by Belka's behavior during the fourth round around the orbit. The dog clearly felt bad, although the medical data on her condition showed no deviations. Any defects were not detected even after the pet's arrival in orbit. This was the reason for choosing the minimum time in open space for a person and making the minimum number of turns around the planet. Due to the behavior of the Gunner Yuri Gagarin, only one revolution was carried out.

After the dogs returned to Earth, the news of the conquest of space flew around the world. The heroes of the launch were immediately invited to the TASS conference, the shots of their flight were regularly broadcast on TV. During the transport of dogs to the TASS building, they were accompanied by Lyudmila Radkevich, a member of the scientific group that was preparing the dogs for launch. Ludmila also took part in the selection of animals for the flight.

During the exit from the car, the woman slipped and fell, holding the animals in both hands. The gallant men immediately lifted Lyudmila and congratulated her with a repeated landing, brightening up the awkward moment with a joke.

Dogs Belka and Strelka received the life of public figures after the flight. They constantly went to shows in various institutions. And the pet puppies were no less famous than their parents.

Continuation of development of extraterrestrial spaces

The last test launch before the man's flight into space was the launch of the missile in 1961. On board were no longer the dogs of the Squirrel and the Arrow, they were replaced by an asterisk and mannequin rights. They made a revolution around the planet and returned safely. Thanks to this active participation of dogs in the development of Russian science, even Yuri Gagarin himself said a catch phrase: "Who am I? The first person in space or the last dog? ".

However, this helped the four-legged friends in the exploration of outer space did not stop. Next to conquer the unexplored expanses went Veterok and Ugolek. Their main task was to spend more than 20 days in space, which would allow us to study the duration of the safe effect of gravity on humans and the necessary conditions for maintaining vital activity.

Preparation for the experiment also began a few months before the launch. At the same time, the animals had to postpone several operations to amputate the tailings. Previous experience of Squirrels and Arrows showed that the tails interfere during the flight, so it was decided to "get rid of them." It is interesting that scientists selected only two dogs for further flight, although more than 30 pets were operated. The operation was not difficult, after a couple of days after it the pets felt great.

Also, dogs were implanted with special catheters into the venous pathway, through which scientists were able to monitor the physical condition of dogs and their internal reactions. Further, the Coal and the Breezes had a traditional accustoming to a closed space, special "space" food and tests in centrifuges.

The launch of the rocket was successful: the animals practically did not experience any signs of panic, reacted to the stressful situation more calmly than their predecessors. In general, pets spent 22 days in open space, while the data on their health coming to the station were quite satisfactory.

However, upon the return of dogs to the Earth, scientists were surprised by an unexpected surprise. Taking off the costumes from the animals, the researchers found that the dogs were missing wool, their bodies covered with diaper rash and even pressure sores. Ugolek and Veterok almost could not keep on their own, they experienced strong weakness and constant thirst.

Scientists could not find out the reason for the unexpected "transformation" of pets. In addition, the dogs were immediately sent to an intervision session, where the researchers supported the pupils, imitating their favorable state after the flight.

Just a month after the rehabilitation, the animals have completely returned to a normal lifestyle. They began to show activity, run independently, returned a healthy appetite. The dogs were removed with implanted catheters, their participation in the experiment did not affect the life span. Moreover, they gave excellent offspring, each of the puppies was worth its weight in gold.

A Trace in the History of the Squirrel and the Arrow

Dogs Belka and Strelka became world famous after their legendary return to Baikonur. The fact is that similar experiments were conducted in the USSR not once, but it was Belka and Strelka that managed to return to Earth unharmed, which means that scientists calculated all the technical and biological moments of the launch correctly. Thanks to this discovery, man's flight into space became possible.

Pets immediately became the stars of domestic and foreign television. Their images were printed on numerous posters and stamps. The names of dogs became associated with the greatest achievement of man. However, gratitude to pets is expressed even after many years, as they left an indelible mark in history:

  1. In 2004 the company "Object Media" releases a new cartoon about the adventures of Squirrels and Arrows in space. The main actions of the film unfold on a distant planet, very reminiscent of the Earth. The plot of the tape is based on real events, the main characters are the dogs of Squirrel and Arrow. The main musical accompaniment of the tape was the song of the band Megapolis;
  2. In 2008 was filmed the next film about the adventures of a pet under the direction of Vladimir Ponomarev. The plot of the tape somewhat changes: instead of the usual training of dogs for launch and their adventures in space, the spectator is waiting for an unexpected kidnapping of pets by aliens. "Foreign" guests took animals for the most developed representatives of the Earth. The cartoon is quite different from the one shot in 2004. The plot of the tape was written by the residents of the Comedy Club, so the film is full of jokes and sparkling humor. Dogs on the plot of the tape change the gender to male, the color of the animals also undergoes changes;
  3. In 2010, the feature film "Star Dogs" is shot, which in addition to the original story also has an original design - the 3D genre. The film is aimed at the children's audience, it has significant differences with the real version of events;
  4. In the same year the famous search engine Google is designed in the appropriate "look" for the anniversary of the flight of Squirrels and Arrows;
  5. The anniversary of the 50th anniversary of the launch of dogs into space was marked by the release of a commemorative stamp depicting the main characters of the event.

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