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Sputnik 1 (Russian: "Cпутник-1" Russian pronunciation: [ˈsputʲnʲək], "Satellite-1", ПС-1 (PS-1, i.e. "Простейший Спутник-1",was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. The surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis, began the Space Age and triggered the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments

from WIRED

Up for Bids: Classic Soviet Space Propaganda Posters

Mercury "Freedom 7" capsule in which Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, 1961. Currently on loan to @Greg Sudds Library