Sputnik 1, 60 years ago, the launch and start of the space age

The first Soviet artificial satellite Sputnik 1 was launched by Cosmodromo Baikonur, now Kazakhstan, with R-7 (Semyorka) rocket, orbit around the Earth, following an elliptical trajectory at a distance of 939 km from the Earth’s surface traveling at the speed of about 28,000 k / h, introduced the dawn of the space age. Sputnik’s first “bip-bip” signal was heard from the heavens on the night of October 4, 1957, marking and certifying the beginning of a new era for humanity. Many enthusiast watched the sky with their observation tools and  and radio amateurs listened to capture the signal coming from the space. The Soviet artificial satellite appeared in the eyes of the world as an aluminum ball with a diameter of 58 cm with a weight of 83.6 kg (pressurized), containing two transmitters operating on 20.005 MHz frequency bands and 40.002 MHz, with a total power of about 1 watt, equipped with a series of zinc-silver batteries, a thermometer and at the center of the body installed four long antennae about 2.5 meters. Instruments on Sputnik 1 remained operational for 57 days, then it burned when they returned to the atmosphere on 4 January 1958 after 1387 orbits and about 70 million km.

Photo Credit: ESA

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