Apr 20, 2008


The other day Nick, at the Sheridan animation tech office, asked me if by any chance I made my film as a dedication to Laika (the 1st space dog). He brought to my attention that recently it was the 50th year anniversary since the historic sputnik 2 flight which delivered Laika into Orbit.

So I thought I’d make a post about Laika’s extraordinary journey:

Laika is Russian for “barker”, which is now also referred to a breed of dog: mongrel (mixed breed).

She was found wandering the streets of my home town Moscow, and along with 2 other dogs began training for space flight. Training included: keeping the dogs in progressively smaller and insolated cages for increasingly longer periods up to 20 days, placed in centrifuges that simulated launch accelerations, and exposed to machines that simulated the noise experienced during launch.

Before the flight one of the scientists brought Laika home so she can play with his kids. He said: " I wanted to do something nice for her: She had so little time left to live." .

There days before the start of the mission Laika was placed inside the small cockpit and chained to restrict her movement to standing, sitting or lying down. She had access to gel form food on board, and fitted with a waste bag.

Her craft, Sputnik 2, was a rush job to meet Khrushchev’s request to launch the next satellite on November 7 (the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution). The team designed and built the craft in four weeks. So on November 3, 1957 the satellite was launched.

At peak acceleration Laika’s respiration increased to 3-4 times the pre-launch rate. Her heart rate increased to 240 beats/min from 103 (pre launch). There was a malfunction during separation, and some thermal insulation tore loose, raising cabin temp to 40°C. (the ideal temp planned for Laika was 15 degrees) After three hours of weightlessness, her pulse went back down to normal and she was eating again. After 7 hours no signs of life were received. Laika had died from overheating and stress.

Her sacrifice however, proved to the world that surviving launch into orbit was possible, and paved the way for human space flight.

A few days ago on april 11, 2008 a monument dedicated to Laika was unveiled beside the military facility that hosted the mission in Moscow.

Laika, was in fact the inspiration for my short film ‘C BLOCK’. At one point it was even titled ‘Laika’, but due to various reasons (including the fact that my dog never actually goes to space) I chose an alternate title. I just like to think that the name of the dog in the film is Laika.

Guess what I’ll be naming my own dog in the future?

Well thats all I have to say...thanks for reading my wikipedia summary :)

Oh, I also found a couple of interesting documentary clips to give us a glimpse of the space race in the 50s:


Guillaume said...

Cool stuff Vlad, very interesting. It's nice to see that they made a monument to her, shows respect, even though they sacrificed her... Anyways, I already told you what I thought of your film, so I'll leave it to that :)

Kei Acedera said...

I absolutely enjoyed your film! and reading about Laika made me love it even more. much success!

RAWLS said...

Vlad!...Great work my friend. Loved your film! Beautiful stuff. You're extremely talented. Keep up the great work my fellow Sheridonian!

olgastern said...

Saw your film yesturday. It looks stunning visually interms of depth in location design and lighting,has clear animation and flows/cuts together really well.Looks like a lot of work, congrats on finishing it and making it look so awsome!Make sure you apply with it to festivals, I think it has the potential to do really well.
Good luck with adult working life.

pinky said...

hey there,
awesome film! and congradulations on graduating.

Adam Pockaj said...

Your film was amazing! On the subject of the title, what exactly does C-Block mean? Just curious

Edo Avenir said...

ah i had no idea that your film was based on a real space dog, thats awesome! And cool panoramic shot of the semi formal too by the way!

Andre Barnwell said...

You know your film rocks. My family and friends dig it man. Hope to see another one out of you.

Eve said...

A touching story.. the results of an amazing inspiration. i love how much you love dogs.. YOUr Awsome...You killed it this year.. great stuff!

Rebecca Hitchens said...

Awww, that was so sad!
Such a cute dog!

Amanda said...

Aww Vlad..my eyes got all teary reading about Laika; I just keep picture my dog getting ready for a space launch 8(

Wonderful film <3

Ellie Ventura said...

Great to know the history behind the film. Absolutely amazing film! I already told you that when I saw it.