Space Dogs and opportunity costs (7-14-1959)

It’s another flight for Otvazhnaya, the daring Space Dog, in another zoological journey.  This time Otvazhnaya was joined by a different dog from last time (named “Pearl,” or the Russian equivalent thereof) as well as a bunny, whose name I do not yet know.  The flight, which took place on July 10, appears to have been a duplicate of the July 2 flight.

According to TASS, the Soviet news agency, the purpose of the flight was to collect more data on the effects of radiation on living creatures.  Per the agency, the space environment is not overly dangerous to space travelers.  I imagine the flight was also to make sure that the spacecraft parachutes worked properly, since rapid impact with the ground is overly dangerous for space travelers.  The rocket also contained a number of scientific instruments, too, for measuring the nearer regions of space.

All very exciting stuff, and it points to a level of progress very similar to our own.  One wonders how much the Soviets must allocate to their space program to match our systems.  While the Soviet Union looks big on a map, and it looms large in our headlines, there is no doubt that their economy is much weaker than ours.  That they can afford to have regular launches means other fields (say apartment construction, food production, automobile manufacturing) must be suffering.

You won’t hear about that from TASS, of course…

In two days, this month’s Astounding!



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