Did you know that the Soviet Union launched the satellite “Sputnik-1” today in 1957? It was the first man-made satellite to be launched into Earth orbit. The spherical part of the satellite was almost 2 feet in diameter. There were 4 radio antennae on the sides that broadcast radio pulses that could be detected on Earth. The satellite was also visible from Earth and took 96 minutes to finish 1 orbit. In 3 months, Sputnik-1 travelled about 43 million miles before burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere on reentry.
We hope that you have an earth-shattering day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
While Sputnik-1 did not carry any scientific equipment, scientists learned more about the Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere from the effects of drag on Sputnik-1’s orbit and by the way the radio signals spread.
Sputnik-1 moved at about 18,000 miles per hour once in orbit.
The radio signals from Sputnik-1 lasted until the transmitter batteries ran out, which was about 21 days.
The launch of Sputnik-1 started the ‘Space Race’ between America and the Soviet Union which was a part of the larger Cold War.
The launch of Sputnik-1 also marks the beginning of “Space Week”, a time to celebrate and promote the technologies that have made space exploration possible.