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After undergoing training with two other dogs, she was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 and was launched into space on November 3, 1957.
Laika died a few hours after launch from stress and overheating, likely due to a malfunction in the thermal control system. The true cause of her death was not made public until decades after the flight.
The Russian scientists had planned to euthanize Laika with a poisoned serving of food after ten days.
Sputnik 2 was finally destroyed (along with Laika's remains) during re-entry on April 14, 1958, after 2,570 orbits.