The History of Space Exploration

Sputnik Missions

Sputnik Missions

The Sputnik program was originated from from the Soviet Union during the race to space period in the Cold war.This consisted of 3 pieces of technology which made history in space exploration in where satellites were experienced in space. These satellites were the first to launch a rocket into space, a living thing and a human .The program certainly got the U.S.S.R up and going in the space race. There have been many missions but 5 of them have been major highlights.

Sputnik 1

The first one, Sputnik 1 which was launched on October 4th 1957 , orbited the Earth in 98 minutes and stayed in orbit for 6 months and was easily seen from earth. This mini- satellite was smaller than a beach ball. It kept on beeping while it was recieving signals from Earth. I feel that Sputnik 1 was made for more of a competition purpose since it was not meant to explore secrets but just to get a satellite into space.

Sputnik 2

I think this mission was extremely important for astrobiologists because it showed how living organism and creatures could in space. It also proved that humans could survive in space. Sputnik 2 was the second piece of technology in space , stayed up in space for 162 days and the first to carry a living creature.The living creature was a female dog named Laika. Unfortunately, Laika ran out of oxygen and only survived for 1-2 days.


Orbit Height: 610 miles

Speed on orbit: 4.57 km/s

Sputnik 3

I feel that Sputnik 3 was the most complex of all the 3. This satellite was unmanned and was launched to study the Earth’s magnetic field and

radiation belt. This was the first satellite used for atmospheric study. Scientists had to take extra precaution for this satellite since they were going t deal with radioactivity.

Compared to today’s technology, Sputnik 3 was very similar. It had an antenna for tracking, multiple antennas, and a radio.

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Sputnik 4

Sputnik 4 was a mission used to test the needs of human flight to space. It was also designed to design and test how life controlling units had to work and stresses in the human body during a space mission. The spacecraft radioed both telemetry and prerecorded communications during the mission. I think this was one of the most important mission of human space explorations because it taught the world the needs and requirements for humans to go to space.

Sputnik 4 worked on solar panels,an Earth sensor,a sun sensor,a telemetry antenna,Retro rockets,Thermal conservator,and an instrumental module.

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Sputnik 5

Sputnik 5 was the second Sputnik mission to carry life with it o space.It carried two dogs, Strelka and Belka along with many scientific instruments like televisions and trackers. After a one day flight, both the dogs were fine and survived.

I think this was a very big success for the U.S.S.R both the dogs survived.

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Conclusion of Sputnik Missions

There have been many other Sputnik missions (About 28)but I think these five are the most important since they acted as a baseline for all the other missions.

Overall I feel that the Sputnik missions acted on as a great Lift-off in the study of our universe.