Today’s prompt and DeviantArt link.

When humanity moved away from the restrictive environment of Earth to the even more restrictive environments of space stations, space ships, and other planetary based colonies, it was inevitable that humanity’s attachment to their four-legged best friends would force U.S. Space Command (USSC) to come up with a plan to introduce dogs into space. Most USSC scientists were reluctant to transport dogs into space over long-held guilt over Laika’s fate many centuries before.

In fact, the fate of Laika was long thought to be the reason dogs rarely made an appearance in scifi stories other than those of the post-apocalyptic variety until a pair a scifi authors at the beginning of the 21st century ended one of their novels with the appearance of a dog on a space ship. The dog’s appearance on that fictional space ship was inevitably to serve as the inspiration for 23rd century dog lovers to demand the appearance of dogs on space ships in the new science reality.

The first issue with dogs on space ships was the suitability of a dog to survive and thrive in the constantly shifting temperature environments. Two dogs offering the most promise for dogs in the cool and sterile environments of space ships, space station, and enclosed colony structures were the husky and the malamute. Other dogs were tried, but some such as the German Shepard and the Labrador retriever ran into problems of their boredom and curiosity leading to damage to structures that would result in atmospheric leaks before resulting catastrophic failures.

After the problem of which dogs to put on space ships, the USSC’s next problem was how to get the dog onto the ship and how to protect them once there when things like holes from punctures caused things on the inside of the ship to squeeze to the outside of the ship. It took some attempts, but scientists eventually worked up a space suit the dogs would wear and a helmet that allowed for dogs to still smell and hear through strategically placed sensors. The helmet was also designed to allow the dog’s normal need to have their tongue hanging out.

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