Laika the dog, was the first living thing sent into orbit. Not mentioned was that Laika died within 7 hours of launch. This fact was only revealed almost 50 years later. Laika’s mission caused outrage to many observers, but its sacrifice paved the way for humans in space. Laika’s “coffin” circled the Earth 2,570 times before burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere on 4 April 1958.