Sputnik I "Cпутник-1" First satellite to orbit the Earth on October 4th, 1957 by Soviet Union
Let's Get It On
The Cold War had already begun and American fat cats angrily shook their fists at the robots of the Soviet Union. The fight to be numero uno, number one, king of the hill. Marching soldiers angrily kicking their feet up, while swinging their rifles were just a few news commentator's observations ahead of lines of truck beds hauling missiles and rockets the size of buses. It was getting out of hand. There had to be some other way to make your place in the world.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that Americans would put a man on the moon. A move that would surely cement their place in the history books as the Roman Empire of the new age. It was an announcement that sent rocket scientists running in every direction, as suits argued over the cost and ability to do so. But it must be done, so that the rest of the world would know who was in charge, and they could surely say, "They were the first." But they weren't. For just a few short years ago the Soviet Union had taken their dog Sputnik out for a walk around the Earth, and it took a poop in America's yard.
A Closer Look
The satellite had sensors used to detect the different layers of the upper atmosphere, pressurized nitrogen in the body, which helped detect meteoroids, and a transmitter to send radio waves back to Earth for deciphering of the collected information by scientists. It traveled at 18,000 mph to make a complete orbit in just 96.2 minutes. After 3 months in orbit Sputnik I burned up as it fell to the Earth on October 26, 1957. A sad end to such a good pet, but he made M.S. Khomyakov and the rest of his team proud.