SPUTNIK 1957

Dillon Scott

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Facts:

  • October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched sputnik I into space
  • The world's very first artificial satellite
  • Size of a beach ball (58cm or 22.8 inches in diameter)
  • Weighed 183.9lbs or 83.6kg
  • Started the U.S.-USSR Space Race
The sputnik I was successfully launched by the USSR (Soviet Union) in 1957. It was the very first artificial satellite. Scientists called for the satellites to be launched during the IGY (International Geophysical Year July 1, 1957-Dec. 31, 1958) because they knew the cycles of solar activity would be at its high point.

As a technical achievement the Sputnik I caught the world's attention, and also off-guard. In addition, the public feared the Soviet's ability to launch satellites which also translated into the ability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from the USSR to the US. The Soviets struck again not to long after on November 3, launching the Sputnik II, which also carried a dog named Laika.