World's first satellite was launched by the Soviet Union on the 4th
of October 1957 with the help of a powerful rocket from at the time unknown
cosmodrome in Baikonur in the republic of Kazakhstan. It was a metallic
sphere weighing 83.6 kilograms equipped with a radio transmitting station.
It's fate before and after the launch was very interesting.
The launch provoked a great resonance in the world. The Russian word sputnik
quickly entered into many languages. The first pages of world press were
filled with headlines that expressed admiration to the achievement of the
Soviet Union. It was described as the greatest sensation of the century
and the Russian wonder that opened the space era. The Soviet Union moved
toward the launch firmly. In fact, this was not an unexpected event. Both
the Soviet Union and the United States said they planned to launch satellites.
Two years earlier, at the time American President Dwight Eisenhower announced
this. The Soviet Union also made it no secret that it was engaged in developing
a satellite. Speaking at a meeting in Moscow in September 1957 an unknown
Soviet Professor said that the appearance of a satellite was a matter of
weeks. He was Sergei Korolev, the chief designer of the Soviet rockets,
spaceships and satellites.
The rocket blasted off from the Baikonur 10.28 PM Moscow time on the 4th
of October. The four engines of the first stage worked for 314 seconds
and the second stage pushed further and the third stage put the satellite
in the orbit. The satellite started circle around the earth emitting radio
signals from its four antennas.
The designers, engineers and technicians who developed the rocket and satellite
were watching the launching at the cosmodrome. After the launch they ran
to the mobile radio station to listen to signals from the satellite. They
had to wait for some time to ensure that the satellite was in the orbit
and made its first circle. When the red spot appeared on the horizon the
radio station stated to intercept signals firmly and steadily. It was the
It was an explosion of feelings. At once all started to shout hurrah!
They embraced and kissed each other and their eyes were wet with happiness.
When Sergei Korolev and his associates flew to Moscow next day the pilots
told them that all radio stations in the world were broadcasting two words,
Russia and Sputnik.
Sergei Korolev returned from the cabin and said that world was shocked
by the launch and the Soviet Union had made a great noise.
Space exploration has made a giant step forward since 4th of October 1957.
The mankind's knowledge about the sun, the planets of Mars, Venus and Jupiter
and the also moon has deepened. There are men's footprints on the dried
oceans of moon; automatic stations are on the Venus and drilling equipment
worked on the Mars.
Our impression on the solar system has radically changed. Many automatic
stations have reached far ends of the solar system. All this started with
the first satellite launched from the Soviet Union. It lived 92 days, orbited
1 400 times, passed about 60 million kilometers and entered the thick layers
of the atmosphere on the 4th of January 1958 and burned.
Today there are many satellites and space ships and a space station orbiting
around the world. The designers of the first satellite described it as
a simple one, really it was ingeniously simple.