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Published on May 6, 2008
Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, on 3 November 1957, and the first to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika. It was a 4 metre high cone-shaped capsule with a base diameter of 2 metres. It contained several compartments for radio transmitters, a telemetry system, a programming unit, a regeneration and temperature control system for the cabin, and scientific instruments. A separate sealed cabin contained the dog Laika.
Engineering and biological data were transmitted using the Tral D telemetry system, which would transmit data to Earth for a 15 minute period during each orbit. Two photometers were on board for measuring solar radiation (ultraviolet and x-ray emissions) and cosmic rays.