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I've heard that there was a problem in the cooling system on sputnik 2. But, was it an engineering error? Obviously a dog cannot survive such harsh conditions. Did the engineering team overlook this issue?

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After reaching orbit the nose cone was jettisoned successfully but the Blok A core did not separate as planned. This inhibited the operation of the thermal control system. Additionally some of the thermal insulation tore loose so the interior temperatures reached 40 C. It is believed Laika survived for only about two days instead of the planned ten because of the heat.

Source: Sputnik 2 - Original from NASA, archived by Google

The mission was a suicide mission for the dog from the get-go, she was never intended to survive. Her quick death was because of the above mentioned malfunction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Jeez... so they just cooked a dog? That's kinda crappy. Why did they even include a dog? $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Nov 5 '18 at 18:28
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    $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn To study how weightlessness interacts with a living body? You wouldn't want to try this the first time with a human being in the capsule. $\endgroup$ – Polygnome Nov 5 '18 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ I mean, did they recover the vessel? It sounded as if they did not. I guess vitals being monitored is some data though. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Nov 5 '18 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn No, they did not. The dog was never intended to survive the mission, I already said so in my answer. Her death was only expedited by the malfunction, it could never have been prevented. $\endgroup$ – Polygnome Nov 5 '18 at 19:02

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