Sputnik and the Beginning of the Space Age

About the launching of Sputnik by the Soviet Union beginning the Space Age and space race between Russia and the United States.


On October 5, the Soviet Union rocketed an artificial satellite into space. The satellite, Sputnik ("traveling companion"), was the size of a beach ball (23" in diameter), possessed 4 folded antennas and an interior transmitter that sent back signals on 2 standard radio frequencies. Sputnik also carried scientific instruments. It orbited the earth for 15 weeks before falling back through the atmosphere and burning up. Sputnik inaugurated a new age in history--the space age.

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