Revisiting the Launch of Sputnik, Man’s First Satellite

Image of the Sputnik 1 satellite. Photo: NASA.

Image of the Sputnik 1 satellite. Photo: NASA.

In 1955, the Soviet government made public its plans to launch the first ever satellite to take photos of the Earth’s surface from space. Two years later on Oct. 4, 1957, the Simplest Satellite, as it was called (or Sputnik 1), launched into orbit and proved that space was not an inaccessible frontier for mankind. While the satellite’s design was simple, it kickstarted a new generation of research and fueled ambitions to loft even more complicated instruments.

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