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We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."

—Stephen Hawking


The world's first "supercomputers" weren't machines—they were women. Like modern number-crunchers, these "kilo-girls" worked through complex problems.

In 1957, a Soviet street dog named Laika launched into space aboard Sputnik-2 and became the first animal to orbit the Earth. This is her story.