Björn Rust (he/him) is a post-industrial designer cum researcher, innovator and educator, developing context-sensitive innovation practices for people, planet and beyond.

Recent writings

  1. Opportunity hoarding
  2. Doing away with bullshit
  3. The course of my life, so far

Animals in Space

Long before Yuri Gagarin, and the silver suited astronauts of Project Mercury, it was non-human animals that pierced the skies aboard early rockets. First fruit flies and monkeys, then mice and the famous Soviet space dogs.

Most famous among them was a stray from the street of Moscow named Laika, who was sent into orbit aboard Sputnik 2 on the 3rd of November 1957. Laika was regretfully sent to her death, but the Soviets soon developed the technology to de-orbit, and three years later on the 19th of August 1960, Belka and Strelka returned safely to earth after spending a day aboard the Korabl-Sputnik 2.

Meanwhile, in the United States, just months away from Alan Shepard’s space flight, a rhesus monkey named Sam would be sent to the edge of space before crashing into the ocean and being thrown up against the side of a US Navy destroyer. Bob Thompson offers Eric Berger of Ars Technica an unusually colourful recount of Sam’s journey. His story stands as a reminder of the perils of space flight and the incredible bounds we made in the few years during the late 50s and early 60s.

Inspired by: Ars Technica
Reference: Animals in space


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