A new film channels the spirit and traces the lineage of Laika, the first creature ever to orbit Earth.

Laika, a stray dog scooped off the streets of Moscow, launched on the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 2 mission in November 1957, just a month after Sputnik 1’s liftoff opened the space age. The 11-lb. (5 kilograms) mixed-breed quickly died of overheating and circled Earth as a corpse until April 1958, when Sputnik 2 fell back into the atmosphere and burned up.

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