Soviet Fires New Satellite, Carrying Dog; Half-Ton Sphere Is Reported 900 Miles Up

November 3, 1957

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LAIbrary Main Cosmodog Home

Laika Orbit Completed -- Animal Still Is Alive, Sealed in Satellite, Moscow Thinks

London, Sunday, Nov. 3 -- The Soviet Union announced today it had launched a second space satellite -- this one carrying a dog. Radio signals indicated that the animal was living, the Russians said.

A satellite six times as heavy as the one sent up Oct. 4 now is circling the earth every hour and forty-two minutes at a height of 937 miles, Moscow said. This means that the speed is nearly 18,000 miles an hour for the 1,110-pound satellite.

The dog was reported hermetically sealed in a container equipped with an air-conditioning system.

Moscow Radio said data received from the second satellite indicated the "functioning of scientific instruments and control of the living activities of the animal are taking place normally."

First Trip Reported

The new satellite carries transmitting equipment and apparatus for measuring cosmic rays, temperature and pressure. It also carries equipment for reporting the condition of the dog.

It first passed over the Soviet capital at 11:20 P.M. Eastern Standard Time last night and then completed its first trip around the earth over Moscow at 1:05 A.M. today, the Soviet Union reported.

The announcement said the second satellite was "dedicated to the fortieth anniversary of the great October revolution," which the Communist world will celebrate in Moscow beginning next Thursday.

The new earth satellite is completing its orbit in about seven minutes more than the original Sputnik, still circling the earth.

Japan Receives Signals

Moscow said the second sphere was sending out two radio signals. One, like the "beep" signal transmitted by the first satellite, is on a frequency of 20.005 megacycles. The other signal, at 40.002 megacycles, is a continuous note.

In Tokyo the Japan Broadcasting Corporation announced that radio signals from the second satellite were being heard. The corporation picked up the signals twenty-three minutes after Moscow's announcement. The "beep" was at intervals of three-tenths of a second.

A three-stage rocket shoved the original satellite into its orbit. The first Moscow announcement of the second sphere did not explain how it had been sent up.

Although the announcement of the satellite's passing over Moscow indicated an interval of one hour and of forty-five minutes, Moscow Radio said the orbit would be one hour and forty-two minutes.

Moscow Radio last week announced that an animal-carrying satellite soon would be launched.

The Oct. 27 broadcast said preparations for launching a new baby moon were near completion and that a team of dogs had been conditioned to provide the first passengers to rocket off into space.

The announcement was followed by a later broadcast direct from the laboratory where the dogs were being trained.

The radio audience was introduced to a "small, shaggy dog named Kudryavka," which barked into the microphone.

The Soviet Union announced Oct. 4 that it had the world's first artificial moon streaking around the globe 560 miles out in space.

The Russians said the first satellite had been launched the day before by a multiple-stage rocket that shot the satellite upward at about five miles a second. Scientists around the world traced the first satellite in following days. Its characteristic radio signal -- "beep-beep-beep" -- provided the basis of tracking. The radio transmitter has since gone dead.

President Eisenhower, at an Oct. 9 new conference, said of the military significance of Russia's first satellite: "That does not raise my apprehension, not one iota."

On Oct. 13 the Russians hinted at a permanent earth satellite that would last for hundreds of years.

An article in Pravda, broadcast by Moscow radio, said such a project was plausible in the light of available data about the density of the upper layers of the atmosphere.

"It is completely realistic to speak about the launching of a satellite which will exist for tens and hundreds of years," the article added. "Such a satellite would be virtually a permanent earth satellite."

A Soviet engineer, K. Malyutin, predicted on Oct. 26 that a satellite would be launched that would circle the earth forever and provide a platform for space ships.

Mr. Malyutin, writing in the Soviet magazine Aviation, did not say when such a missile could be launched. He observed, however, that "contemporary levels of rocket technique allow the assumption that launching such a sputnik is fully realistic."

In announcing the launching of the first earth satellite ever put in a globe-circling orbit under man's controls, the Soviet Union claimed a victory over the United States.

Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company