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Scientist recalls training Laika for space"I asked her to forgive us and I even cried as I stroked her for the last time," says 90-year-old Russian biologist Adilya Kotovskaya, recalling the day she bid farewell to her charge Laika. The Soviet Union sent Laika up to space in a satellite on Nov. 3, 1957, – 60 years ago. But things did not go exactly to plan and the dog was only able to survive for a few hours, flying around the Earth nine times.To get dogs accustomed to the idea of space travel inside a pressurized capsule just 80 centimeters long, Kotovskaya gradually moved them into smaller and smaller cages.Laika was a mongrel dog aged around three and weighing 6 kilograms. Like all the other candidates for space, she was a female stray found on a Moscow street.
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