Friday, February 24, 2012

"Ground Control to Major Tom ..."

A few days ago America celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of John Glenn's historic orbital space flight. But space exploration has not been without its challenges: case in point, Russia's early entry, Laika the Space Dog (this is a true story, so if you're sensitive, you may want to stop reading here).

Everybody’s seen the picture of Laika the German shephered strapped into his capsule: noble, serene, ready to be launched into the void for the glory of Mother Russia. But did it ever occur to anyone (at the time, or now), the Russkies had no plan of bringing the besotted dog down? The Politburo just wanted the honor of sending the hound up; as for it coming back alive, bounding into the joyful waiting arms of little Alexei (or whoever) … meh.
Which leaves us with two unsettling mental pictures:

First, two days after the launch, Laika came down all right, in a hideous fireball somewhere over the bleak and trackless steppes.

Or second, its bones are up there still, silently orbiting.

Now go enjoy the day! *G*
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