Sputnik 1

Sputnik 1

Overview
Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 on 4 October 1957. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis
Sputnik crisis
The Sputnik crisis is the name for the American reaction to the success of the Sputnik program. It was a key event during the Cold War that began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite....

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and ignited the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

, a part of the larger Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the Space Age
Space Age
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age is generally considered to have begun with Sputnik...

.

Apart from its value as a technological first, Sputnik also helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer's density, through measuring the satellite's orbital changes.
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Encyclopedia
Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 on 4 October 1957. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis
Sputnik crisis
The Sputnik crisis is the name for the American reaction to the success of the Sputnik program. It was a key event during the Cold War that began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite....

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and ignited the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

, a part of the larger Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the Space Age
Space Age
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age is generally considered to have begun with Sputnik...

.

Apart from its value as a technological first, Sputnik also helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer's density, through measuring the satellite's orbital changes. It also provided data on radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

-signal distribution in the ionosphere
Ionosphere
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere...

. Pressurized nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 in the satellite's body provided the first opportunity for meteoroid
Meteoroid
A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite...

 detection. If a meteoroid penetrated the satellite's outer hull, it would be detected by the temperature data sent back to Earth.

Sputnik 1 was launched during the International Geophysical Year
International Geophysical Year
The International Geophysical Year was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West was seriously interrupted...

 from Site No.1/5
Gagarin's Start
Gagarin's Start is a launch site at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, used for the Soviet space program and now managed by the Russian Federal Space Agency....

, at the 5th Tyuratam
Tyuratam
Tyuratam is a station on the main Moscow to Tashkent railway, located in Kazakhstan. The name is a word in the Kazakh language and means "Töre's grave"; Töre, or more formally, Töre-Baba, was a noble, a descendant of Genghis Khan...

 range, in Kazakh SSR
Kazakh SSR
The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Kazakh SSR for short, was one of republics that made up the Soviet Union.At in area, it was the second largest constituent republic in the USSR, after the Russian SFSR. Its capital was Alma-Ata . Today it is the independent state of...

 (now at the Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome
The Baikonur Cosmodrome , also called Tyuratam, is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, about east of the Aral Sea, north of the Syr Darya river, near Tyuratam railway station, at 90 meters above sea level...

). The satellite travelled at 29,000 kilometers (18,000 mi) per hour, taking 96.2 minutes to complete an orbit, and emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz which were monitored by amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 22 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957. Sputnik 1 burned up on 4 January 1958, as it fell from orbit upon reentering Earth's atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

, after travelling about 60 million km (37 million miles) and spending 3 months in orbit.

Satellite construction project


The history of the Sputnik 1 project dates back to 27 May 1954, when Sergei Korolev addressed Dimitri Antoniou, then Minister of Defence Industries, proposing the development of an Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. Korolev also forwarded Ustinov a report by Mikhail Tikhonravov
Mikhail Klavdievich Tikhonravov
Mikhail Klavdievich Tikhonravov was a Soviet pioneer of spacecraft design and rocketry. Mikhail Klavdievich attended the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy from 1922 to 1925, where he built gliders and was exposed to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's ideas of spaceflight. In 1932, he joined GIRD, as one of the...

 with an overview of similar projects abroad. Tikhonravov emphasized that an artificial satellite is an inevitable stage in the development of rocket equipment, after which "interplanetary communication" would become possible. On 29 July 1955 the U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower announced, through his press secretary, that the United States would launch an artificial satellite during the International Geophysical Year
International Geophysical Year
The International Geophysical Year was an international scientific project that lasted from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. It marked the end of a long period during the Cold War when scientific interchange between East and West was seriously interrupted...

 (IGY). A week later, on 8 August the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU approved the idea of creating an artificial satellite. On 30 August Vasily Ryabikov – the head of the State Commission on R-7 rocket
R-7 Semyorka
The R-7 was a Soviet missile developed during the Cold War, and the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-7 made 28 launches between 1957 and 1961, but was never deployed operationally. A derivative, the R-7A, was deployed from 1960 to 1968...

 test launches – held a meeting where Korolev presented calculation data for a spaceflight trajectory to the Moon. They decided to develop a three-stage version of the R-7 rocket for satellite launches.


On 30 January 1956 the Council of Ministers approved practical work on an artificial Earth-orbiting satellite. This satellite, named "Object D", was planned to be completed in 1957-58; it would have a mass of 1,000 to 1,400 kg (2,200 to 3,090 lb) and would carry 200 to 300 kg (440 to 660 lb) of scientific instruments. The first test launch of "Object D" was scheduled for 1957. According to that decision, work on the satellite was to be divided between institutions as follows:
  • USSR Academy of Sciences was responsible for the general scientific leadership and research instruments supply
  • Ministry of Defence Industry and its main executor OKB-1 were assigned the task of creating the satellite as a special carrier for scientific research instruments
  • Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry would develop the control system, radio/technical instruments and the telemetry
    Telemetry
    Telemetry is a technology that allows measurements to be made at a distance, usually via radio wave transmission and reception of the information. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure...

     system
  • Ministry of Ship Building Industry would develop gyroscope
    Gyroscope
    A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of angular momentum. In essence, a mechanical gyroscope is a spinning wheel or disk whose axle is free to take any orientation...

     devices
  • Ministry of Machine Building would develop ground launching, refueling and transportation means
  • Ministry of Defence was responsible for conducting launches


By July 1956 the draft was completed and the scientist tasks to be carried out by a satellite were defined. It included measuring the density of the atmosphere, its ion
Ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

 composition, corpuscular solar radiation, magnetic field
Magnetic field
A magnetic field is a mathematical description of the magnetic influence of electric currents and magnetic materials. The magnetic field at any given point is specified by both a direction and a magnitude ; as such it is a vector field.Technically, a magnetic field is a pseudo vector;...

s, cosmic ray
Cosmic ray
Cosmic rays are energetic charged subatomic particles, originating from outer space. They may produce secondary particles that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and surface. The term ray is historical as cosmic rays were thought to be electromagnetic radiation...

s, etc. Data, valuable in creating future satellites, was also to be collected. A ground observational complex was to be developed, that would collect information transmitted by the satellite, observe the satellite's orbit, and transmit commands to the satellite. Such a complex should include up to 15 measurement stations. Because of the limited time frame, they should have means designed for rocket R-7 observations. Observations were planned for only 7 to 10 days and orbit calculations were expected to be not quite accurate.

Unfortunately, the complexity of the ambitious design and problems in following exact specifications meant that some parts of 'Object D', when delivered for assembly, simply did not fit with the others, causing costly delays. By the end of 1956 it became clear that plans for 'Object D' were not to be fulfilled in time because of difficulties creating scientific instruments and the low specific impulse
Specific impulse
Specific impulse is a way to describe the efficiency of rocket and jet engines. It represents the derivative of the impulse with respect to amount of propellant used, i.e., the thrust divided by the amount of propellant used per unit time. If the "amount" of propellant is given in terms of mass ,...

 produced by the completed R-7 engines (304 sec instead of the planned 309 to 310 sec). Consequently the government re-scheduled the launch for April 1958. Object D would later fly as Sputnik 3
Sputnik 3
Sputnik 3 was a Soviet satellite launched on May 15, 1958 from Baikonur cosmodrome by a modified R-7/SS-6 ICBM. It was a research satellite to explore the upper atmosphere and the near space, and carried a large array of instruments for geophysical research....

.

Fearing the U.S. would launch a satellite before the USSR, OKB-1 suggested the creation and launch of a satellite in April–May 1957, before the IGY began in July 1957. The new satellite would be simple, light (100 kg or 220.5 lb), and easy to construct, forgoing the complex, heavy scientific equipment in favour of a simple radio transmitter. On 15 February 1957 the Council of Ministers of the USSR approved this, providing for launching the simplest version satellite, designated 'Object PS'. This version also facilitated the satellite to be tracked visually by Earth-based observers while in orbit, and transmit tracking signals to ground-based receiving stations. Launch of two satellites PS-1 and PS-2 with two R-7 rockets (8K71) was allowed, but only after one or two successful R-7 test launches.

Launch vehicle preparation and launch site selection


The two-stage
Multistage rocket
A multistage rocket is a rocket that usestwo or more stages, each of which contains its own engines and propellant. A tandem or serial stage is mounted on top of another stage; a parallel stage is attached alongside another stage. The result is effectively two or more rockets stacked on top of or...

 R-7 Semyorka
R-7 Semyorka
The R-7 was a Soviet missile developed during the Cold War, and the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile. The R-7 made 28 launches between 1957 and 1961, but was never deployed operationally. A derivative, the R-7A, was deployed from 1960 to 1968...

 was initially designed as an ICBM by OKB-1. The decision to build it was made by the CPSU Central Committee and the Council of Ministers of the USSR on 20 May 1954. The R-7 was also known by its GRAU (later GURVO) designation 8K71. Due to Soviet secrecy at the time the R-7 was known to western sources as the "T-3, and M-104, and Type A. A special reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 commission selected Tyuratam as a place for the construction of a rocket proving ground
Proving ground
A proving ground is the US name for a military installation or reservation where weapons or other military technology are experimented or tested, or where military tactics are tested...

 (the 5th Tyuratam range, usually referred to as "NIIP-5", or "GIK-5" in the post-Soviet time). The selection was approved on 12 February 1955 by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, but the site would not be completed until 1958. Actual work on the construction of the site began on 20 July by military building units. On 14 June 1956 Sergei Korolev decided to adapt the R-7 rocket to the 'Object D', that would later be replaced by the much lighter 'Object PS'.

The first launch of an R-7 rocket (8K71 No.5L) occurred on 15 May 1957. The flight was controlled until the 98th second, but a fire in a strap-on rocket led to an unintended crash 400 km from the site. Three attempts to launch the second rocket (8K71 No.6) were made on 10–11 June, which failed because of a mistake made during the rocket's assembly. The unsuccessful launch of the third R-7 rocket (8K71 No.7) took place on 12 July. During the flight the rocket began to rotate about its longitudinal axis and its engines were automatically turned off. The packet of stages was destroyed 32.9 seconds into the flight. The stages fell 7 km (4.3 mi) from the site and exploded.

The launch of the fourth rocket (8K71 No.8), on 21 August at 15:25 Moscow Time
Moscow Time
Moscow Time is the time zone for the city of Moscow, Russia and most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. It is the second westernmost of the nine time zones of Russia. Moscow Time has been UTC+4 year-round since 27 March 2011....

, was successful. Its head part separated, reached the defined region, entered the atmosphere, and was destroyed at a height of 10 km (6.2 mi) because of thermodynamic overload after traveling 6,000 km. On 27 August TASS
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union
The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union , was the central agency for collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet newspapers, radio and television stations...

 in the USSR issued a statement on the launch of a long-distance multistage ICBM. The launch of the fifth R-7 rocket (8K71 No.9), on 7 September was also successful, but the head part was also destroyed in the atmosphere, and hence needed a long redesign to completely fit its military purpose. The rocket, however, was already suitable for scientific satellite launches, and following the successful launches, Korolev was able to convince the State Commission to allow the use of the next R-7 to launch a hastily designed and built satellite, allowing the delay in the rocket's military exploitation to launch the PS-1 and PS-2 satellites.

On 22 September a modified R-7 rocket, named Sputnik and indexed as 8K71PS, arrived at the proving ground and preparations for the launch of PS-1 began. As the R-7 was designed to carry the much heavier Object D, its adaptation to PS-1 reduced its initial mass from 280 short ton and its mass at launch was 267 short ton; its length with PS-1 was 29.167 metre and the thrust
Thrust
Thrust is a reaction force described quantitatively by Newton's second and third laws. When a system expels or accelerates mass in one direction the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal magnitude but opposite direction on that system....

 was 3.9 MN (3,900,000 N).

Observation complex


The measurement complex at the proving ground for monitoring the launch vehicle from its launch was completed prior to the first R-7 rocket test launches in December 1956. It consisted of six static stations: IP-1 through IP-6, with IP-1 situated at a distance of 1 km (0.621372736649807 mi) from the launch pad. The main monitoring devices of these stations were telemetry and trajectory measurement stations, "Tral," developed by OKB
OKB
OKB is a transliteration of the Russian acronym for "Опытное конструкторское бюро" - Opytnoe Konstructorskoe Byuro, meaning Experimental Design Bureau...

 MEI. They received and monitored data from the "Tral" system transponder
Transponder
In telecommunication, the term transponder has the following meanings:...

s mounted on the R-7 rocket; an on-board system that provided precise telemetric data about Sputnik 1's launch vehicle. The data was useful even after the satellite's separation from the second stage of the rocket; Sputnik 1's location was calculated from the data on the second stage's location (which followed Sputnik 1 at a known distance) using nomogram
Nomogram
A nomogram, nomograph, or abac is a graphical calculating device developed by P.E. Elyasberg, a two-dimensional diagram designed to allow the approximate graphical computation of a function: it uses a coordinate system other than Cartesian coordinates...

s developed by P.E. Elyasberg.

An additional observation complex, established to track the satellite after its separation from the rocket, was completed by a group led by Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Yu.A.Mozzhorin in accordance with the General Staff directive of 8 May 1957. It was called the Command-Measurement Complex and consisted of the coordination center in NII-4 by the Ministry of Defence of the USSR (at Bolshevo
Yubileyny, Moscow Oblast
Yubileyny is a town in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located northeast of Moscow Ring Road by Yaroslavl Highway, on the Klyazma River. Population: Area: .-History:...

) and seven ground tracking stations, situated along the line of the satellite's ground track
Ground track
A ground track or ground trace is the path on the surface of the Earth directly below an aircraft or satellite. In the case of a satellite, it is the projection of the satellite's orbit onto the surface of the Earth .A satellite ground track may be thought of as a path along the Earth's surface...

. They were: NIP-1 (at Tyuratam
Tyuratam
Tyuratam is a station on the main Moscow to Tashkent railway, located in Kazakhstan. The name is a word in the Kazakh language and means "Töre's grave"; Töre, or more formally, Töre-Baba, was a noble, a descendant of Genghis Khan...

 station, Kazakh SSR
Kazakh SSR
The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Kazakh SSR for short, was one of republics that made up the Soviet Union.At in area, it was the second largest constituent republic in the USSR, after the Russian SFSR. Its capital was Alma-Ata . Today it is the independent state of...

, situated not far from IP-1), NIP-2 (at Makat station, Guryev Oblast
Atyrau Province
Atyrau Oblast is a province of Kazakhstan. It is situated in the west of the country around the northeast of the Caspian Sea. Its capital is the city of Atyrau, with a population of 142,500 people; the province itself has 480,000 people...

), NIP-3 (at Sary-Shagan station, Dzhezkazgan Oblast), NIP-4 (at Yeniseysk
Yeniseysk
Yeniseysk is a town in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. Population: 20,000 .Yeniseysk was founded in 1619 as a stockaded town—the first town on the Yenisei River. It played an important role in Russian colonization of East Siberia in the 17th–18th centuries...

), NIP-5 (at village Iskup, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Krasnoyarsk Krai
Krasnoyarsk Krai is a federal subject of Russia . It is the second largest federal subject after the Sakha Republic, and Russia's largest krai, occupying an area of , which is 13% of the country's total territory. The administrative center of the krai is the city of Krasnoyarsk...

), NIP-6 (at Yelizovo
Yelizovo
Yelizovo is a town in Kamchatka Krai, Russia, located on the Avacha River northwest of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Population: Founded in 1848 as the village of Stary Ostrog , it was renamed Zavoyko in 1897, after the Russian admiral Vasily Zavoyko who led the defense of Petropavlovsk in 1854....

) and NIP-7 (at Klyuchi). The complex had a communication channel with the launch pad. Stations were equipped with radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

, optical instruments, and communications systems. PS-1 was not designed to be controlled, it could only be observed. Data from stations were transmitted by telegraphs into NII-4 where ballistics
Ballistics
Ballistics is the science of mechanics that deals with the flight, behavior, and effects of projectiles, especially bullets, gravity bombs, rockets, or the like; the science or art of designing and accelerating projectiles so as to achieve a desired performance.A ballistic body is a body which is...

 specialists calculated orbital parameters. The complex became an early prototype of the Soviet Mission Control Center
Mission Control Center
A mission control center is an entity that manages aerospace vehicle flights, usually from the point of lift-off until the landing or the end of the mission. A staff of flight controllers and other support personnel monitor all aspects of the mission using telemetry, and send commands to the...



In the West, the satellite was tracked by amateur radio
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 operators, and a 36 Mc/s receiver at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Design



The chief constructor of Sputnik 1 at OKB-1 was M.S.Khomyakov. The satellite was a 585 mm (23 in) diameter sphere, assembled from two hemispheres which were hermetically
Hermetic seal
A hermetic seal is the quality of being airtight. In common usage, the term often implies being impervious to air or gas. When used technically, it is stated in conjunction with a specific test method and conditions of usage.-Etymology :...

 sealed using o-ring
O-ring
An O-ring, also known as a packing, or a toric joint, is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus; it is a loop of elastomer with a disc-shaped cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.The O-ring...

s and connected using 36 bolts, and had a mass of 83.6 kilograms (184.3 lb). The hemispheres, covered with a highly polished 1 mm-thick heat shield
Heat shield
A heat shield is designed to shield a substance from absorbing excessive heat from an outside source by either dissipating, reflecting or simply absorbing the heat...

 made of aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

-magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

-titanium
Titanium
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. It has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant transition metal with a silver color....

 AMG6T ("AMG" is an abbreviation for "aluminium-magnesium" and "T" stands for "titanium", the alloy contains 6% of magnesium and 0.2% of titanium) alloy
Alloy
An alloy is a mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while partial solutions give two or more phases that may or may not be homogeneous in distribution, depending on thermal history...

, were 2 mm-thick. The satellite carried two antennas designed by the Antenna Laboratory of OKB-1 led by M.V.Krayushkin. Each antenna was made up of two whip-like parts: 2.4 and 2.9 meters (7.9 and 9.5 ft) in length, and had an almost spherical radiation pattern
Radiation pattern
In the field of antenna design the term radiation pattern most commonly refers to the directional dependence of the strength of the radio waves from the antenna or other source ....

, so that the satellite beeps were transmitted with equal power in all directions; making reception of the transmitted signal independent of the satellite's rotation. The whip-like pairs of antennas resembled four long "whiskers" pointing to one side, at equal 35 degrees angles with the longitudinal axis of the satellite.

The power supply
Power supply
A power supply is a device that supplies electrical energy to one or more electric loads. The term is most commonly applied to devices that convert one form of electrical energy to another, though it may also refer to devices that convert another form of energy to electrical energy...

, with a mass of 51 kg (112.4 lb), was in the shape of an octagonal nut
Nut (hardware)
A nut is a type of hardware fastener with a threaded hole. Nuts are almost always used opposite a mating bolt to fasten a stack of parts together. The two partners are kept together by a combination of their threads' friction, a slight stretch of the bolt, and compression of the parts...

 with the radio transmitter in its hole. It consisted of three silver-zinc batteries
Silver-oxide battery
A silver oxide battery , not to be confused with a similar but different silver–zinc battery, which is a secondary cell, is a primary cell with relatively very high energy/weight ratio. They are costly due to the high price of silver...

, developed at the All-Union Research Institute of Current Sources (VNIIT) under the leadership of N. S. Lidorenko. Two of them powered the radio transmitter and one powered the temperature regulation system. They were expected to fade out in two weeks, but ended up working for 22 days. The power supply was turned on automatically at the moment of the satellite's separation from the second stage of the rocket.

The satellite had a one-watt
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

, 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 transmitting unit inside, developed by V. I. Lappo from NII-885, that worked on two frequencies, 20.005 and 40.002 MHz. Signals on the first frequency were transmitted in 0.3 sec pulses (under normal temperature and pressure conditions on-board), with pauses of the same duration filled by pulses on the second frequency. Analysis of the radio signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere. Temperature and pressure were encoded in the duration of radio beeps, which additionally indicated that the satellite had not been punctured by a meteorite. A temperature regulation system contained a fan
Fan (mechanical)
A mechanical fan is a machine used to create flow within a fluid, typically a gas such as air.A fan consists of a rotating arrangement of vanes or blades which act on the air. Usually, it is contained within some form of housing or case. This may direct the airflow or increase safety by preventing...

, a dual thermal switch, and a control thermal switch. If the temperature inside the satellite exceeded 36 °C (97 °F) the fan was turned on and when it fell below 20 °C (68 °F) the fan was turned off by the dual thermal switch. If the temperature exceeded 50 °C (122 °F) or fell below 0 °C (32 °F), another control thermal switch was activated, changing the duration of the radio signal pulses. Sputnik 1 was filled with dry nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

, pressurized to 1.3 atm
Atmosphere (unit)
The standard atmosphere is an international reference pressure defined as 101325 Pa and formerly used as unit of pressure. For practical purposes it has been replaced by the bar which is 105 Pa...

. For the pressure
Pressure
Pressure is the force per unit area applied in a direction perpendicular to the surface of an object. Gauge pressure is the pressure relative to the local atmospheric or ambient pressure.- Definition :...

 control the satellite had a barometric switch, activated when the pressure inside the satellite fell below 0.35 kg/cm2, changing the duration of radio signal impulse.

While attached to the rocket, Sputnik 1 was protected by a cone
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...

-shaped payload fairing
Payload fairing
Payload fairing is one of the main components of a launch vehicle. The fairing protects the payload during the ascent against the impact of the atmosphere . More recently, an additional function is to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments.Outside the atmosphere the fairing is...

, with a height of 80 cm (31.5 in) and an aperture of 48 degrees. The fairing separated from both Sputnik 1 and the rocket at the same time when the satellite was ejected. Tests of the satellite were conducted at OKB-1 under the leadership of O. G. Ivanovsky.

Launch and mission



The control system of the Sputnik rocket was tuned to provide an orbit with the following parameters: perigee height - 223 km (138.6 mi), apogee height - 1450 km (901 mi), orbital period - 101.5 min. A rocket trajectory with these parameters was calculated earlier by Georgi Grechko
Georgi Grechko
Georgy Mikhaylovich Grechko is a retired Soviet cosmonaut who flew on several space flights among which Soyuz 17, Soyuz 26, and Soyuz T-14.Grechko graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Mechanics with a doctorate in mathematics. He was a member of Communist Party of Soviet Union...

, after completing the calculations over several nights on the USSR Academy of Sciences' mainframe computer
Mainframe computer
Mainframes are powerful computers used primarily by corporate and governmental organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.The term originally referred to the...

.


The Sputnik rocket was launched at 19:28:34 UTC, on 4 October 1957, from Site No.1 at NIIP-5. Processing of the information, obtained from the "Tral" system showed that the side boosters separated 116.38 seconds into the flight and the second-stage engine was shut down 294.6 seconds into the flight. At this moment the second stage with PS-1 attached had a height of 223 km (138.6 mi) above Earth's surface, a velocity of 7780 m/s (25,524.9 ft/s) and velocity vector inclination to the local horizon was 0 degrees 24 minutes. This resulted in an initial orbit with a perigee of 223 kilometres (138.6 mi), an apogee of 950 kilometres (590.3 mi), 65.1 degrees of inclination and a period of 96.2 minutes.

After 3.14 seconds PS-1 separated from the second stage and at the same moment at the small "Finnish house" of IP-1 station Junior Engineer-Lieutenant V.G. Borisov heard the "Beep-beep-beep" signals from the radio receiver R-250 (see :ru:Р-250 (радиоприёмник)). Reception lasted for two minutes, while PS-1 was above the horizon. There were many people in the house, both military and civil, and they were probably the first to celebrate the event. After 325.44 seconds a corner reflector
Corner reflector
A corner reflector is a retroreflector consisting of three mutually perpendicular, intersecting flat surfaces, which reflects waves back directly towards the source, but shifted . Unlike a simple mirror, they work for a relatively wide-angle field of view. The three intersecting surfaces often have...

 on the second stage was opened, that also allowed measurement of its orbit parameters – like the working "Tral" system did.

The designers, engineers and technicians who developed the rocket and satellite watched the launch from the range. After the launch they ran to the mobile radio station to listen to signals from the satellite. They waited about 90 minutes to ensure that the satellite had made one orbit and was transmitting, before Korolyov called Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

. The downlink telemetry included data on temperatures inside and on the surface of the sphere.

On the first orbit the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union
Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union
The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union , was the central agency for collection and distribution of internal and international news for all Soviet newspapers, radio and television stations...

 (TASS) transmitted: "As result of great, intense work of scientific institutes and design bureaus the first artificial Earth satellite has been built". The Sputnik 1 rocket booster (second stage of the rocket) also reached Earth orbit and was visible from the ground at night as a first magnitude
Apparent magnitude
The apparent magnitude of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere...

 object following the satellite. Korolyov had intentionally requested reflective panels placed on the booster in order to make it so visible. The satellite itself, a small but highly polished sphere, was barely visible at sixth magnitude, and thus more difficult to follow optically. Ahead of Sputnik 1 flew the third object – the payload fairing, 80 cm (31 in)-long cone, i.e. a little bit bigger than the satellite.

Sputnik 1 remained in orbit until 4 January 1958, when it decayed
Orbital decay
Orbital decay is the process of prolonged reduction in the altitude of a satellite's orbit.This can be due to drag produced by an atmosphere due to frequent collisions between the satellite and surrounding air molecules. The drag experienced by the object is larger in the case of increased solar...

 and reentered the atmosphere, having completed 1,440 orbits of the Earth.

Reaction

Further information: Sputnik crisis

Teams of visual observers at 150 stations in the United States and other countries were alerted during the night to watch for the Soviet sphere at dawn and during the evening twilight. They had been organized in Project Moonwatch to sight the satellite through binoculars or telescopes as it passed overhead. The USSR asked radio amateurs and commercial stations to record the sound of the satellite on magnetic tape
Magnetic tape
Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. It was developed in Germany, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and play back audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders...

.

News reports at the time pointed out that "anyone possessing a short wave receiver can hear the new Russian earth satellite as it hurtles over his area of the globe". Directions, provided by the American Radio Relay League
American Radio Relay League
The American Radio Relay League is the largest membership association of amateur radio enthusiasts in the USA. ARRL is a non-profit organization, and was founded in May 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim of Hartford, Connecticut...

 were to "Tune in 20 megacycles sharply, by the time signals, given on that frequency. Then tune to slightly higher frequencies. The 'beep, beep' sound of the satellite can be heard each time it rounds the globe," The first recording of Sputnik 1's signal was made by RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 engineers near Riverhead, Long Island. They then drove the tape recording into Manhattan for broadcast to the public over NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 radio. However, as Sputnik rose higher over the East Coast, its signal was picked up by ham station W2AEE, the ham radio station of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

. Students working in the university's FM station, WKCR
WKCR
WKCR-FM is a radio station. Licensed to New York, New York, USA, it serves the New York area. The station is currently owned by Trustees of Columbia University in New York.-History:...

, made a tape of this, and were the first to rebroadcast the Sputnik 1 signal to the American public (or such of it as could receive the FM station). The next morning two FBI agents took the tape from the station. It has never been returned.

At first the Soviet Union agreed to use equipment "compatible" with that of the United States, but later announced the lower frequencies. The White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 declined to comment on military aspects of the launch, but said it "did not come as a surprise." On 5 October the Naval Research Laboratory announced it had recorded four crossings of Sputnik-1 over the United States. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower obtained photographs of the Soviet facilities from Lockheed U-2
Lockheed U-2
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed "Dragon Lady", is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency . It provides day and night, very high-altitude , all-weather intelligence gathering...

 flights conducted since 1956.

The USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's launch of Sputnik spurred the United States to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA or DARPA) in February 1958
1958 in science
The year 1958 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.-Events:* During International Geophysical Year, Earth's magnetosphere is discovered; and the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition discovers the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountain Range in Antarctica.-Astronomy and space...

 to regain a technological lead.

Propaganda


The propaganda value of Sputnik 1 was seen in both the response of the United States and the elevated status of the Soviet Union. The launch provided both pride for the Soviet people and embarrassment for the Americans.

The propaganda value of Sputnik 1 for the Soviet Union was not capitalized immediately after the launch because the Soviets were distracted by their own scientific goals and determination to win the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

. The United States was presently working on a separate development, Project Vanguard
Project Vanguard
Project Vanguard was a program managed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory , which intended to launch the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit using a Vanguard rocket as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida....

, and was caught off guard by the Soviets' early launch, placing it behind the Soviets in the newly emerged space race. However, the Soviets’ accomplishments were kept quiet in the homeland to prevent any exploitation of their failures or loss of secrets, which undermined the propaganda opportunity. The original article announcing the first launch never made a headline in the daily Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

. Sputnik was a stunning propaganda achievement for the Soviets that was only recognized in hindsight.

The value of Sputnik 1 as Soviet propaganda was especially evident in the response of the American public. Sputnik crushed the American perception of the United States as the technological superpower by demonstrating that the Soviets were not the ignorant Easterners they had been perceived as prior to the launch. As a result, panic overtook the American public, which created an enormous sense of vulnerability regarding the United States' ability to defend its territory. Adding to this fear was the element of surprise with which Sputnik entered the world, which left the American public in what was observed as a “wave of near-hysteria”. The United States appeared at the mercy of a new technological power which shattered any notion of internal security or confidence for the American people and significantly elevated the perception of the Soviet Union in the international community.

The elevated status of the Soviet Union was further solidified by the actions of the American government following Sputnik 1. American society underwent an enormous shift that emphasized science and technological research. Sputnik forced the Americans to take up a more offensive stance in the emerging space race. Everything from the military to education systems were revamped by the government and unimaginable economic possibilities ensued. The federal government began pouring unmatched amounts of money into science education, engineering and mathematics at all levels of education. An advanced research group was assembled for military purposes. These research groups developed weapons such as ICBMs and missile defence systems, as well as spy satellites for the US. After several failed attempts, the US successfully launched a satellite, Explorer I
Explorer I
Explorer 1 was the first Earth satellite of the United States, launched as part of its participation in the International Geophysical Year...

, on January 31, 1958.

The launch of Sputnik 1 both united the people of the Soviet Union and humiliated the United States with its lack of comparable technology. State propaganda increased the pride the Soviet people had in the project; millions of people listened to Sputnik 1's signals on the radio. Citizens were told a particular place in the sky and time of night when they could see Sputnik 1. However, this was only something they were told by Pravda. The people actually witnessed a stage of the carrier rocket. Russians began to use their expedition into space as a form of propaganda and political leverage, mimicked by the United States. However, the United States' temporary status as second-rate technological superpower brought great embarrassment to the American people. Some theorize that this embarrassment provided the much-needed push that accelerated America's moon landing.

Shortly after the launch of PS-1, Krushchev pressed Korolev to launch another satellite in time for the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution on 7 November 1957.

Replicas


A model of Sputnik 1 was given to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and now decorates the Entry Hall of its Headquarters in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Other replicas are on display at the Smithsonian
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

's National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, at the Science Museum, London, and at the World Museum
World Museum Liverpool
World Museum is a large museum in Liverpool, England which has extensive collections covering archaeology, ethnology and the natural and physical sciences. Special attractions include the Natural History Centre and a free Planetarium. Entry to the museum itself is also free...

 in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, UK.

Three one-third scale student-built replicas of Sputnik 1 were deployed from the Mir
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...

 between 1997 and 1999. The first, named Sputnik 40
Sputnik 40
Sputnik 40 , also known as Sputnik Jr, PS-2 and Radio Sputnik 17 , was a Franco-Russian amateur radio satellite which was launched in 1997 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. A one-third scale model of Sputnik 1, Sputnik 40...

 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, was deployed in November 1997. Sputnik 41
Sputnik 41
Sputnik 41 , also known as Sputnik Jr 2 and Radio Sputnik 18 , was a Franco-Russian amateur radio satellite which was launched in 1998 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Aéro-Club de France, and the forty-first anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial...

 was launched a year later, and Sputnik 99 was deployed in February 1999. A fourth replica was launched but never deployed, and was destroyed when Mir was deorbited
Deorbit of Mir
The deorbit of Mir was the controlled atmospheric re-entry of the modular Russian space station Mir carried out on March 23, 2001. Major components ranged from about 5 to 15 years in age, and included the Mir Core Module, Kvant-1, Kvant-2, Kristall, Spektr, Priroda, and Docking Module...

.

Impact


"On Friday, October 4, 1957, the Soviets had orbited the world's first artificial satellite. Anyone who doubted its existence could walk into the backyard just after sunset and see it."
- Mike Gray, "Angle of Attack"

Initially United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 President Eisenhower was not surprised by "Sputnik." He had been forewarned of the R-7s capabilities by information derived from U2 spy plane overflight photos as well as signals and telemetry intercepts. The Eisenhower administration's first response was low-key and almost dismissive. Eisenhower was even pleased that the USSR, not the USA, would be the first to test the waters of the still-uncertain legal status of orbital satellite overflights
Space law
Space law is an area of the law that encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. International lawyers have been unable to agree on a uniform definition of the term "outer space," although most lawyers agree that outer space generally begins at the lowest...

. Eisienhower had suffered the Soviet protests and shoot-downs of Project Genetrix (Moby Dick) balloons and was concerned about the probability of a U-2 being shot down. In order to set a precedent for 'freedom of space" before the launch of America's secret WS-117L Spy Satellites the USA had launched Project Vanguard
Project Vanguard
Project Vanguard was a program managed by the United States Naval Research Laboratory , which intended to launch the first artificial satellite into Earth orbit using a Vanguard rocket as the launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Missile Annex, Florida....

 as its own "civilian" satellite entry for the International Geophysical Year. Eisenhower greatly underestimated the reaction of the American public, which was shocked by the launch of Sputnik 1 and by the televised failure of the Vanguard Test Vehicle 3 launch attempt. The sense of fear was inflamed by democrat politicians and professional cold warriors which portrayed the United States as woefully behind. The depth of concern, and breadth of impact upon the American society and the "free world" cannot be understated. One of the many books which suddenly appeared for the lay-audience noted 7 points of "impact" upon the nation. Those points of impact were, Western Leadership, Western Strategy and Tactics, Missile Production, Applied Research, Basic Research, Education, and Democratic Culture. The USA soon had a number of successful satellites, including Explorer 1, Project SCORE
Project SCORE
Project SCORE was the world’s first communications satellite. Launched aboard an Atlas rocket on December 18, 1958, SCORE provided a first test of a communications relay system in space, as well as the first successful use of the Atlas as a launch vehicle...

, and Courier 1B
Courier 1B
Courier 1B was the world's first active repeater satellite after launch on 4 October 1960. Courier was built by the Palo Alto, California–based Western Development Labs division of Philco, previously known as Army Fort Monmouth Laboratories and now the Space Systems/Loral division of Loral Space &...

. However, public reaction to the Sputnik crisis
Sputnik crisis
The Sputnik crisis is the name for the American reaction to the success of the Sputnik program. It was a key event during the Cold War that began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite....

 led to the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (renamed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1972 or DARPA) the agency which would eventually 'invent the Internet, upon which this page is published: NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

, and an increase in U.S. government spending on scientific research and education. One consequence of the Sputnik shock was the perception of a "Missile Gap." This was to become a dominant issue in the 1960 Presidential campaign.

One irony of the 'Sputnik" event was the initially low-key response of the Soviet Union. The Communist Party newspaper Pravda only printed a few paragraphs about 'Sputnik 1' on 4 October. In the days following the world's startled response, the Soviets started celebrating their "great accomplishment."

Sputnik also inspired a generation of engineers and scientists. Harrison Storms, the North American designer who was responsible for the X-15 rocket plane, and went on to head the effort to design the Apollo Command/Service Module
Apollo Command/Service Module
The Command/Service Module was one of two spacecraft, along with the Lunar Module, used for the United States Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon. It was built for NASA by North American Aviation...

 and Saturn V
Saturn V
The Saturn V was an American human-rated expendable rocket used by NASA's Apollo and Skylab programs from 1967 until 1973. A multistage liquid-fueled launch vehicle, NASA launched 13 Saturn Vs from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida with no loss of crew or payload...

 launch vehicle's second stage was moved by the launch of Sputnik to think of space as being the next step for America. Astronauts Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, and NASA astronaut who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, in space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit...

, who was the first American in space, and Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton
Donald Kent Slayton , better known as Deke Slayton, was an American World War II pilot and later, one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts....

 later wrote of how the sight of Sputnik I passing overhead inspired them to their new careers Homer Hickam
Homer Hickam
Homer Hadley Hickam, Jr. is an American author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer. His autobiographical novel Rocket Boys: A Memoir, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller, is studied in many American and international school systems, and was the basis for the popular film October Sky...

's memoir Rocket Boys
Rocket Boys
Rocket Boys is the first memoir in a series of three, by Homer Hickam, Jr. It is a story of growing up in a mining town, and a boy's pursuit of amateur rocketry in a coal mining town. It won the in 1998, the year of its release. Today, it is one of the most often picked community/library reads in...

 and the movie October Sky
October Sky
October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes, and who...

 tell the story of how a coal miner's son, inspired by Sputnik, started building rockets to the consternation of the mining town where he lived.

The launch of Sputnik 1 inspired U.S. writer Herb Caen
Herb Caen
Herbert Eugene Caen was a Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco journalistwhose daily column of local goings-on, social and political happenings,...

 to coin the term "beatnik
Beatnik
Beatnik was a media stereotype of the 1950s and early 1960s that displayed the more superficial aspects of the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s and violent film images, along with a cartoonish depiction of the real-life people and the spiritual quest in Jack Kerouac's autobiographical...

" in an article about the Beat Generation
Beat generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

 in the San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
thumb|right|upright|The Chronicle Building following the [[1906 San Francisco earthquake|1906 earthquake]] and fireThe San Francisco Chronicle is a newspaper serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, but distributed throughout Northern and Central California,...

 on April 2, 1958.

Backup units

  • A Sputnik 1 backup unit is on display at the personal library of Jay Walker, an Internet entrepreneur.
  • In 2003 a back-up unit of Sputnik 1 called "model PS-1" failed to sell on eBay
    EBay
    eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

    . It was offered while still on display in a science institute near Kiev
    Kiev
    Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

    . It is estimated that between four and twenty models were made for testing and as replicas.
  • What is thought to be a backup of Sputnik 1 now hangs at The Museum of Flight
    Museum of Flight
    The Museum of Flight is a private non-profit air and space museum at King County International Airport , south of downtown Seattle, Washington. It was established in 1965 and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums...

     in Seattle, Washington. The craft was manufactured by the Soviet Academy of Sciences and has battery acid remnants on the inside walls of the spherical shell, as well as fittings for the various components, suggesting that it was more than just a model.

See also

  • ILLIAC I
    ILLIAC I
    The ILLIAC I , a pioneering computer built in 1952 by the University of Illinois, was the first computer built and owned entirely by a US educational institution, Manchester University UK having built Manchester Mark 1 in 1948.ILLIAC I was based on the Institute for Advanced Study Von Neumann...

     - First computer to calculate the orbit of Sputnik I.
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military...

     (DARPA, created in 1958)
  • Sergei Korolev - chief designer of Sputnik 1
  • Donald B. Gillies
    Donald B. Gillies
    Donald Bruce Gillies was a Canadian mathematician and computer scientist, known for his work in game theory, computer design, and minicomputer programming environments.- Education :...

     - one of the first to calculate the Sputnik 1 orbit
  • Kerim Kerimov
    Kerim Kerimov
    Lieutenant-General Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov was an Azerbaijani-Soviet/Russian aerospace engineer and a renowned rocket scientist, one of the founders of the Soviet space industry, and for many years a central figure in the Soviet space program. Despite his prominent role, his identity was kept a...

     - one of the lead architects behind Sputnik 1
  • Sputnik crisis
    Sputnik crisis
    The Sputnik crisis is the name for the American reaction to the success of the Sputnik program. It was a key event during the Cold War that began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial Earth satellite....

  • Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records
    Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records
    Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records encompasses the key events in the history of technology in Russia, starting from the Early East Slavs and up to the modern Russian Federation....

  • Homer Hickam
    Homer Hickam
    Homer Hadley Hickam, Jr. is an American author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer. His autobiographical novel Rocket Boys: A Memoir, was a #1 New York Times Best Seller, is studied in many American and international school systems, and was the basis for the popular film October Sky...

    's classic memoir Rocket Boys
    Rocket Boys
    Rocket Boys is the first memoir in a series of three, by Homer Hickam, Jr. It is a story of growing up in a mining town, and a boy's pursuit of amateur rocketry in a coal mining town. It won the in 1998, the year of its release. Today, it is one of the most often picked community/library reads in...

     and the film October Sky
    October Sky
    October Sky is a 1999 American biographical film directed by Joe Johnston, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. It is based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 to take up rocketry against his father's wishes, and who...

    tell how a coal miner's son was so inspired by Sputnik, he began to build rockets to the surprise and consternation of his hometown. It is an example of how a generation of American youth became enamored with space and science because of Sputnik 1.

Authentic recordings of the signal



This Russian page contains signals which are probably the faster pulsations from Sputnik-2:

A NASA history website on Sputnik contains this commonly copied recording, which is some pulse-duration-modulated signal of an unknown spacecraft :

History


Historical sections


Other sites of interest:

Primary sources


Miscellaneous