Sputnik; Russians were the first to put anything into actual ORBIT around earth. Sputnik is *the* first artificial satellite, launched Oct. 4, 1957, orbital decay ended Jan. 4, 1958. Sputnik, Spaces Racing, Spaces Age, Russian Spaces, Artificial Earth, Spaces Programs, Earth Satellite, Cold War, Soviet Union
Explorer was the US's first satellite. Launched Feb. 1, 1958 months after the Russians launched Sputnik. The U.S. is pretty much second in everything with respect to the Russians, except landing on the moon. Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and he was also a Russian. A cute one, too, I might add.