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

This Day in Science History Oct 4, 1957: Soviet Union launches Sputnik I The successful launch of the unmanned satellite Sputnik I by the Soviet Union in October 1957 shocks and frightens many Americans. As the tiny satellite orbited the earth, Americans reacted with dismay that the Soviets could have gotten so far ahead of the supposedly technologically superior United States.

“An Early History of Satellites.” (Credit: Broadband Wherever) It’s not often that one associates a satellite with French folk songs, but this infographic does that and more. On it you will find the major launches of the early space age — from the Soviet Union’s Sputnik to the Czechoslovakian Magion 1 — showing how satellites quickly evolved between 1957 and 1978.

From Peter Alway's 1995 book "Rockets of the World"

STS-31 lifts off, carrying Hubble into orbit. Credit: NASA

Sputnik

Remembering the crew of Apollo 1. Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee perished January 27, 1967 in a fire during a pre-launch test for what was to be the first crewed Apollo mission. / Photo credit: NASA

Apollo 13

Luna 2, the first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon.

The moon is about 1/4 the diameter of Earth. Learn more about Earth’s natural satellite at SPACE.com.

The first human in space, Yuri Gagarin (9.3.1934 – 27.3.1968). In his Vostok spacecraft he completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.

Rosenbergs

Russian Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, Apr 12, 1961

On this Day in History, April 9, 1959: NASA introduced America’s first astronauts who became known as the Original Seven (pictured) and were chosen for the country’s first space program "Project Mercury"

politics aside, old soviet propaganda art/posters/etc makes for some very cool art

Sputnik: The Soviet Union launched the first Sputnik satellite on October, 4 1957, ushering in the age of space exploration and kicking off an intense space race with the United States. http://www.history.com/photos/space-race/photo1

Duck and cover and don't look at the blast -School nuclear bomb drill during the Cold War.

1957

The Russian Space Station MIR / Мир

Hubble telescope image of the Moon. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

On October 4, 1957, the Soviets successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. It was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the earth on its elliptical path.