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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

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.

chopshopstorefrom chopshopstore

Sputnik from the Historic Robotic Spacecraft Series

This sparked my dream! Sputnik was the first artificial Earth satellite. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

Today in 1965: Astronauts Frank Borman and James A. Lovell Jr. lifted off aboard this Gemini VII capsule. Their primary mission was to show that humans could live in weightlessness for 14 days, an endurance record that stood until 1970. / Image credit: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

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.

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

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

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

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"

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Charged with the commission of espionage and executed by the Federal Government. The Rosenberg's supposedly helped the Soviet Union create atomic weaponry.

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. (Photo Credit: Corbis/Sergei Chirikov/epa)