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Sputnik 1


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Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite in space. It stunned the world and as a result the space age began. It was the first victory for the Space Race by the Soviet Union.

Sputnik Picture

Sputnik means satellite in Russian. It was shaped like a sphere and had four radiating radio antennae.

It was launched on October 4th, 1957. The world did not expect the Soviet Union to beat the technologically advanced USA with this Space First.

It functioned for 21 days. Its on-board radio transmitter sent out a beep beep signal that was heard all around the world. It was launched by the R-7 Rocket aka Vostok Rocket at Baikonour, Soviet Union. Today the modern derivative is called Soyuz Rocket.

Specifications:




Diameter  58cm
Spacecraft Weight  84kg
Launch Location Present day Kazakstan
Launch Vehicle R-7 Rocket

As a result of this launch, the US air force suggested Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles could be used to launch a satellite. The first american satellite was Explorer 1 and it was launched on January 31, 1958. This also led to creation of NASA (National aeronautics and Space Administration) in July 1958.

On January 4th, 1958, Sputnik 1 re-enetered the Earth's atmosphere because it orbit deayed due to gravity.

Related Space Books


cover

Sputnik: The Shock of the Century

 

cover

Russia in Space: The Failed Frontier?

cover

The Rocket Men: Vostok and Voskhod

DVD

The Red Stuff - The True Story of the Russian Race for Space
from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca



What do you think of the first artificial satellite? 

Was it a great achievement? Why did Sputnik 1 start the Space Race?

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Copyright 2000-2014 Vic Stathopoulos. All rights reserved.

Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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