NOVEMBER 3, 2007 : THE SPOUTNIK 2 FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
THE SPOUTNIK 2 FLIGHT
The Spoutnik 2 satellite was launched on November 3, 1957 by a "Zemiorka" R-7 8K71PS launcher from the Baikonour space base just one month after Spoutnik 1. It carriez with it the first alive being : the small Laika dog. Laika was a wandering female dog from the Moscow streets. It has been choosen according to the fact that it was able to stay alive even un extreme cold conditions demonstrating its endurance. After a training during several month, it was definitively selected for the Spoutnik 2 flight.
The R7 rocket on its launching pad
The satellite conical shape was composed of several compartments :
A spherical capsule identical to the Spoutnik-1 one (containing the measurement equipments) and a pressurized cabin for the Laika dog. These cabine was equipped with sensors to control the temperature and the current pressure along with some to survey the dog blood pressure, heart beatings and breath. Built in only one month, the satellite was not equipped with a thermal shield for crossing the atmosphere on its return path, which implies the death of the small dog. This information was just given after the take-off and numerous protests against the Russian methods sacrifying a dog in the name of science were rised up.
An official version asserted that Laika died 10 days after take-off absorbing its last eating ration which was poisonned. This was done for the purpose of avoiding the dog to be burn alive during the atmosphere crossing on the return path. However and according to the statement made by doctor Dimitri Malashenkoven in 2002, the dog died about 7 hours after take-off following the failure of the temperature regulation system.
Spoutnik 2 and the small Laika dog in its cabin.
Spoutnik 2 was carrying some instruments to study the cosmic rays. The satellite sensors detected properly what will be named few months later the Van Allen radiation belts when it crossed the Earth vicinity. Provided that Spoutnik 2 was not equipped with recorders, all measurement results were transmitted directly. Most of the equipment were located in the satellite front nose. At the moment to set the satellite in orbit the corresponding panels to free it failed to open over 15 minutes after the planned time. This incident triggered the failure of the thermal regulation system and the Laika death. However and even with the dramatic Laika death, the mission collected the first data concerning the behavior of an alive being in the space. Spoutnik 2 burnt in the atmosphere after 162 days in orbit and 2570 rotations around the Earth.
The Spoutnik noose with its measurement equipments
The Spoutnik mock-up in a museum
THE CELESTIA SPOUTNIK 2 ADD-ON FOR CELESTIA 1.51
(Download at the bottom of the page or on the downloads page)
The preceding version of my Spoutnik 2 add-on is already known by some of you. In this version the vessel has been redesigned precisely and some additional details has been added according to new documents found on the Net. The add-on includes now the last launcher stage. R-7 8K71PS Zemiorka . The great newness is the integration of the Laika 3d model designed by Max Grutter. Even with that the add- is lighter than before.
new version comes with a script showing the Spoutnik starting from the
setting in orbit with the opening of the panels and release of the
satellite.The ssc files have been elaborated with my friend Gilles who
performs the computing. The vessel is composed of several parts and
selecting Laika allows you to approach the satellite. The maps which
are available to compute the satellite position are available on the
following site :
Meshes are now furnished in cmod format.
Click on the picture to start the film or right click to download it
The R7 rocket last stage just ahead of orbiting
Opening of the panels before release of the satellite
The Spoutnik 2 instruments (click for high resolution image)
The New pack Spoutnik2-1.51.zip for Celestia can be downloaded HERE.
Don't forget Spoutnik 3 , which already exists in this pack
Utilisez The URL page to look at the vessels. However, the best is to launch the Spoutnik 2 demo script which can be found in the script directory and allowing to follow the complete mission
PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION - UPDATED ON AUG 21, 2008