Home > General Knowledge, Invention > 3/365 – Sputnik – The Satellite

3/365 – Sputnik – The Satellite

Sputnik – The First Satellite in the Space

Name: Sputnik I

Launched On: October 4, 1957

Launched By: Soviet Union

Dimension: 58 cm. or 22.8 inches in diameter

Weight: 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds

Time Taken to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path: 98 minutes

Satellite Race Between US and Soviet Union:
In September 1955, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Vanguard proposal was chosen to represent the U.S. during the IGY.

The Sputnik launch changed everything. As a technical achievement, Sputnik caught the world’s attention and the American public off-guard. Its size was more impressive than Vanguard’s intended 3.5-pound payload. In addition, the public feared that the Soviets’ ability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the U.S. Then the Soviets struck again; on November 3, Sputnik II was launched, carrying a much heavier payload, including a dog named Laika.

On January 31, 1958, the tide changed, when the United States successfully launched Explorer I. This satellite carried a small scientific payload that eventually discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth, named after principal investigator James Van Allen.

The Sputnik launch also led directly to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In July 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (commonly called the “Space Act“), which created NASA as of October 1, 1958 from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and other government agencies.

Source: http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/

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