Over the past ten years, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film series has introduced several characters like a talking raccoon named Rocket, Mantis, the extraterrestrial with antennae, and many more. However, new additions like Cosmo, a sweet space pooch in “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” was also welcomed by audiences. Although Cosmo has gotten less screen time, the audience knows she is telekinetic, loves Kevin Bacon, and is a food lover.
In this series, you can watch Cosmo wearing a unique attire. She dressed like an astronaut in an old-fashioned spacesuit. It has a patch mentioning CCCP and a rust red collar opening that could be attached to the helmet. Additionally, this look is complete with a small antenna sensor. Undoubtedly, this outfit is peculiar for a dog, but completely fitted when you will read “Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s 2007 comic run, “Nova.”
In “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” Cosmo was introduced as a survivor of Soviet Space Program experiments in 1960. Cosmo’s story is inspired by a real-life critter named Laika. However, Cosmo is a male, not a female. But James Gunn’s films bring back this character as a female dog.
Laika was a street dog sent into space in 1957 by the Soviet Union with no plan to return her back to the planet. But the Cosmo story is a bit different from Laika’s. Unlike Laika, Cosmo got lost in space but returned to Earth after being subject to random cosmic rays, turning him into a super dog. But in reality, Laika’s return was never planned, which made her journey tragic.
How did Laika end up in space?
The Soviet Union and the United States were in a cold war involving espionage, cultural competition, etc. Both countries desired to send the first men to the moon, but it was too risky. Therefore animals were sent to space to ensure the human astronaut’s safety.
The first animal was fruit flies sent to space. The scientists were excited to learn cosmic radiation could affect biological structures. After that, they began sending mammals like dogs and monkey to find out how to prepare astronauts for space.
According to the Smithsonian, Laika’s audition process was intense. She was selected after passing numerous tests checking her obedience and ability to adapt to changes in pressure and different noise levels. Additionally, she had to live in a small, pressurized capsule to show scientists that she could survive long enough to send data about the orbit’s effects on living beings.
Laika wasn’t sent with plans for her safe return. Scientists were expecting her death from oxygen deficiency after entering orbit. Unfortunately, Laika didn’t make it for long and died a few hours after takeoff. This tragedy happened due to a malfunction in the rocket’s heat shield insulation, which made the inside temperature unbearable. Hence, her journey into space was a preplanned one-way trip, resulting in her untimely death.
Laika was the first live critter to orbit and opened doors for humans. Yet, despite immortalization and the widespread love for her story, the heartening tragedy cannot be ignored.