"Commemorating a Spaceflight Pioneer from the Dawning of the Space Age -
Russian Space Dog Laika is Remembered 50 Years Later"
A monument to Laika, the first Earthling to go into orbit, was unveiled in Moscow on April 11, 2008.  It features Laika standing on top of a rocket.  Laika was a stray dog whose flight paved the way for
human space missions.  The monument is located near a military research facility in Moscow where dogs were trained for rocket flights.  In 1957 the Russians did not know how to return a space
capsule safely to Earth.  Entombed inside Sputnik-2, Laika rode the fire and thunder of the rocket one way into the unknown cosmos.  On-orbit she survived for only 5 to 7 hours and died of heat and
stress.  Just a month before, on October 4th, 1957,  Russia shocked the World when it blasted Sputnik-1 into earth orbit as the first artificial satellite.  At the time, bitter Cold War rivals American and
Russia stood toe to toe, both armed with nuclear bombs and both locked in an ideological life or death struggle.  Up until this time, America was thought to be the High-Tech leader of the world but
the Russian Sputnik demonstrated a powerful rocket and satellite capability which America didn't have.  Now with bruised pride, America felt outclassed by a nation of peasants.   "Now the
Americans sleep under a Russian Moon", boasted leader Nikita Khrushchev.  Exploiting the Russian lead, he wanted to embarrass America further with his vision of a bigger, more magnificent
spaceship !  Khrushchev ordered his rocket engineers to build Sputnik-2 in just three weeks, and this time, a living being should ride the rocket into orbit.  On November 3,1957 the special order was
met as Khrushchev's cobbled together spaceship lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome  and a small dog named Laika rocketed into history as a test passenger on Sputnik-2.  Meanwhile, Soviet
Premier Nikita Khrushchev beamed with delight as Russia beat America once again by orbiting the first biological specimen.  Feeling helpless, Americans gazed up at the Sputniks as they boldly
glided across the twilight sky for all to see.  The electronic voices of the Sputniks announced their presence by shortwave radio.   Listeners worldwide tuned in the cryptic beeps as they streamed in
from outer space and witnessed firsthand the great accomplishments of Soviet science.  In the Fall of 1957 fear spread throughout the USA, because the powerful Sputnik R-7 rockets could also hurl
A-bombs right into the heart of America.   American citizens ask questions in the wake of the Sputniks, "Were they some type of spy apparatus; What did the eerie beeps mean; Could they be
platforms for A-bombs and why didn't America have such earth satellites?"  Radio Amateurs played an important role in the new Space Age by tuning in the 20.005 MC beeping one watt signals
from Russian Sputniks 1&2.  Signal reports from Hams and SWLs helped USA scientists determine orbital information for tracking, observation, and threat assessment of the secretive Sputniks.  In
an effort to catch up, the Sputniks caused a reflex response from American leadership as President Eisenhower created NASA, and ARPA which later became the WWW as we know it today.   -  
email me at -
WA5HRC /QRP - George Bailey - 600 West  Kiehl ave - Sherwood, ARkansas USA 72120
Built by me in 1980, my rig is a Heathkit HW-8 solar / battery powered & running 2 watts RF to a homebrew  end-fed half-wave 20Mtr vertical
wire in tree & without ground radials.  Supporting circuits are a HI-PER-MITE AF CW Filter + FREQ-MITE-(both kits) that are
internally mounted in the HW-8. - PSE QSL -  TNX  To WA8IWK confirming our 20Mtr CW QSO on April 16, 2014 at 2354Z. UR RST was
229+QSB.  REMARKS - Hi ALLEN, TNX for pulling thru my weak 2 watt signal.  Operating QRP CW is sure fun.  ALLEN, I'm a Retro-Tech,
still in love with the old radio days when you didn't need a magnifying glass to work on circuits HIHI.   And I miss the Golden Age of
Shortwave when the bands were alive with all types of signals.  FB on UR attic vertical.  The best of luck to U ES 73 CUL____________

ZIP 48323  USA
SKCC # 11753
4SQRP # 713