Sputnik 1

first artificial Earth satellite

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to go around the Earth.[2] It was made by the Soviet Union.[2] It was launched on 4 October 1957 at Baikonur Cosmodrome.[2] It orbited (went around) the Earth for three months.[2] It carried a radio transmitter. It did 1,440 orbits of the Earth during this time. It went down into Earth's atmosphere on 4 January 1958 and burned up.[2]

Sputnik 1
Replica of Sputnik 1
Mission typeTechnology demonstration
Harvard designation1957 Alpha 2
COSPAR ID1957-001B
SATCAT no.00002
Mission duration21 days
Orbits completed1440
Spacecraft properties
Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry
Launch mass83.6 kg (184 lb)
Dimensions58 cm (23 in) diameter
Power1 watt
Start of mission
Launch date4 October 1957, 19:28:34 (1957-10-04UTC19:28:34) UTC
RocketSputnik 8K71PS[1]
Launch siteBaikonur 1/5[1]
End of mission
DisposalOrbital decay
Last contact26 October 1957 (1957-10-26)
Decay date4 January 1958[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Semi-major axis6,955 km (4,322 mi)
Perigee215 km (134 mi)
Apogee939 km (583 mi)
Period96.2 minutes
Epoch4 October 1957, 15:12 UTC
Radio transmitter
(20.005 MHz - 40.002 MHz)
← None

The United States was very surprised when the Soviet Union sent Sputnik 1 into space. It did not want to fall behind. So, it began spending more money on science and education.[3] This was when the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States began. The competition helped the US and Russia fuel the United States’ space exploration endeavors



The word Sputnik comes from the Russian Спутник, literally traveling companion. It is pronounced IPA: ['sput.nik] or IPA: ['sput.nık], not 'spʌt.nık.[2][4]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wade, Mark. "Sputnik 1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Sputnik 1". NASA NSSDC. Archived from the original on 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  3. Calmes, Jackie (2010-12-06). "Obama Calls for New 'Sputnik Moment'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
  4. Siddiqi, Asif A. (2003). Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge. Universityy of Florida Press. p. 155. ISBN 0-8130-2627-X.