Sputnik is a Russian word for satellite. Sputnik started a lager part of the cold war called the "Space Race". The Russians launched sputnik in to space at 10:29 on October 4, 1957. Sputnik 1 was the world's first artificial satellite. It was the size of a beach ball or 22.8 inches in diameter. Sputnik weighed 183.9 pounds. It took 98 minutes to orbit the earth on its elliptical path.

The Affect Sputnik Had On Americans

Sputnik was launched during the cold war; it caught everyone's attention. Sputnik was mental threat to the Americans, because now they knew that the Soviet Union had the power to create more advanced weapons than the Americans. The Americans called the time of Sputnik "crisis". The fear of falling behind in Russia's shadow over technology boosted the amounted of money being funded towards science and math education. In result of this act were NASA, Apollo, ARPA, and the Internet. All because the Russians launched a satellite, the size of a beach ball, our country today has technological dominance.

Sputnik's Affects

After the Sputnik 1 was launched, the Russians wanted to see if a human could go into space in a spacecraft, but before they could send humans into space they had to test it on an animal. The Russians launched Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. Sputnik 2 was a cone-shaped space capsule with a height of 2 meters and a base of 4 meters. Sputnik 2 carried the first living dog to go into space. The dog's name was Laika. With a dog being on bored, the information provided the first data on a living organism in the space environment.

Sputnik 1 was like a wake up call for the Americans to improve their technology. On January 31, 1958 the Americans launched Explorer 1. Explorer 1 was the first satellite that the Americans launched into space. Explorer 1 was designed, built, and launched by the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). Explorer 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral.

The Mars pathfinder is a probe that was sent to Mars to deliver information on the Martian environment and atmosphere. When the mars path pathfinder landed the last data transmission, it returned with 2.3 million bits of information, including more than 16,500 images.


On December 18, 1957, Sputnik burned up from falling back to earth from its orbit. It spent 3 month in orbit. Sputnik fell 7 million km or 43.5 million miles from space to earth. A few months later Sputnik 2 was launched.