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:

Apr 19, 2008

Animation Prom 2008

I think this year a new trend was set. The sweatpants, superhero shirts, and beards came off for this one evening. Suit up! we are going to animation prom..hmm..semi-formal...right..

Dinner was delicious. Open bar..what? yup. well, what can I say...it was a hit! You rock Mel... Thanks for organizing this monumental event, and actually getting these lazy animators to come out..and in their suits..wowa wiwa..at first glance we almost look like normal people...almost..

Congratulations everyone!


This was 10 days before the film hand-in deadline. During dinners I would look over this production chart as if it were a battlefield, strategizing were to send my troops next. hmm.. its surprising how amazingly satisfying it is to fill in those boxes. mmmm...

Actually I am posting this for my roommate Vadim. (he likes the graphic nature of this page)