Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Day 1 of the Space Race!
With a diameter less than 2 feet, the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 took the Soviets into space where no man had gone before. For two years, the Soviets and Americans had been announcing they would be launching artificial satellites but the Soviets beat the Americans on October 4, 1957 when Sputnik 1 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at Tyruatam in Kazakhstan. Another milestone occured in 1961 when the Soviets put the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space.
The leader in the space race went back and forth between the two countries until 1969 when the U.S. succeeded in putting the first man on the mooon. The Soviets tried several times to send manned missions to the moon but failed.
The competition eased in the early 70's when plans were made for a joint American-Soviet mission, the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975. The space race was officially over when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
Sputnik 1 burned up in the atmosphere in January 1958.
Russian produced video on Sputnik 1: