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1957 - Launch of Sputnik Satellites


Title: 1957 - Launch of Sputnik Satellites


About: The Soviet Union seized the initiative in the Space Race by launching two satellites into orbit, the second containing Laika, a stray dog.


On October 4 the USSR successfully launched Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite. It was about the size of a basketball and weighed only 80kg. It took about 98 minutes for Sputnik I to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments and marked the beginning of the space race between the US and the USSR.


 As a technical achievement, it caught the world's attention and the Americans off guard. The public reacted with fear that the Soviets' ability to launch such a satellite would translate to the ability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the US.


The Soviets didn't rest ont heir luarels, but followed up the first satellite launch with another on November 3.  Sputnik II carried a much heavier payload and a dog named Laika (who made it into space but never returned to earth). 


The US Defense Department responded by approving funding for a US. satellite project (which would launch the Explorer satellite on 31 January 1958). The Sputnik launch also led to the creation of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in July 1958.

Decade: 1950s

Year: 1957

Region: Space

Country: USSR

Discovery: Exploration

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 5

Artist: Vlad Nikulin


Group: Genesis

Number: 57/100

Price: 0.5 ETH


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