Laika the space dog – the first creature to orbit the planet.
“Laika”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Laika.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Laika.jpg
Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika
For some reason, this story just about brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
This link is great for keeping up on just about every mission in the solar system. Lots of good stuff:
This is a good link too: http://spaceweather.com/
Lots of nice pictures here: http://spaceweathergallery.com/
And if you are interested in space you have to hang out a bit at: http://www.space.com/
Excellent. I took their advice on Jupiter. It is currently at its closest approach to earth so I checked it out with the telescope and it is spectacular with its itty-bitty little moons. I saw four of them. Space.com rocks.
And while you are at space.com, check out Titan the largest of Saturn’s moons: http://www.space.com/15257-titan-saturn-largest-moon-facts-discovery-sdcmp.html
And a tribute to Laika: