Sputnik 1

Sputnik 1

Infobox Spacecraft
Name = "Sputnik 1"

Organization = Council of Ministers of the USSR
Major_Contractors = OKB-1, Soviet Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry
Mission_Type = Atmospheric studies
Satellite_Of = Earth
Launch = October 4, 1957, 19:28:34 UTC (22:28:34 MSK)
Launch_Vehicle = Sputnik Rocket
Decay = January 3, 1958
Mission_Duration = 3 months
Mass = 83.6 kg (184.3 lb.)
NSSDC_ID = 1957-001B
Webpage = [http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1957-001B NASA NSSDC Master Catalog]
Semimajor_Axis = 6,955.2 km (4,321.8 miles)
Eccentricity = 0.05201
Inclination = 65.1°
Orbital_Period = 96.2 minutes
Apoapsis = 7310 km from centre, 939 km (583 miles) from surface
Periapsis = 6586 km from centre, 215 km (134 miles) from surface
Orbits = 1,440

"Sputnik 1" ( _ru. "Спутник-1" IPA-ru|ˈsputnʲɪk, "Satellite-1", ПС-1 ("PS-1", i.e. "Простейший Спутник-1", or "Elementary Satellite-1")) was the world's first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. Launched into geocentric orbit by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, it was the first in a series of satellites collectively known as the Sputnik program. The unanticipated announcement of "Sputnik 1"'s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space Race within the Cold War.

"Sputnik" helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer's density, through measuring the satellite's orbital changes. It also provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere. Pressurized nitrogen, in the satellite's body, provided the first opportunity for meteoroid detection. If a meteoroid penetrated the satellite's outer hull, it would be detected by the temperature data sent back to Earth.

"Sputnik-1" was launched during the International Geophysical Year from Site No.1, at the 5th Tyuratam range, in Kazakh SSR (now at the Baikonur Cosmodrome). The satellite traveled at 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi) per hour and emitted radio signals at 20.005 and 40.002 MHz [cite news
title = Soviet Fires Earth Satellite Into Space
url = http://www.nytimes.com/partners/aol/special/sputnik/sput-01.html
publisher = The New York Times
first = William J
last = Jorden
date = October 5, 1957
accessdate = 2007-01-20
] which were monitored by amateur radio operators throughout the world. [cite web | url=http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2007/09/28/03/?nc=1 | title=Sputnik and Amateur Radio | date=September 28, 2007 | publisher=American Radio Relay League | author=Ralph H. Didlake, KK5PM | coauthors=Oleg P. Odinets, RA3DNC | accessdate=2008-03-26] The signals continued for 22 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on October 26, 1957. [cite web
url = http://www.vibrationdata.com/Sputnik.htm
title = Sputnik
accessdate = 2008-03-08
publisher = vibrationdata.com
] "Sputnik 1" burned up on January 4, 1958 as it fell from orbit upon reentering Earth's atmosphere, after traveling about 60 million km (37 million miles) and spending 3 months in orbit. [cite web
url = http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraftDisplay.do?id=1957-001B
title = Sputnik 1 - NSSDC ID: 1957-001B
work = NSSDC Master Catalog
publisher = NASA

Before the launch

atellite construction project

The history of the "Sputnik 1" project dates back to May 27, 1954, when Sergei Korolev addressed Dmitry Ustinov, then Minister of Defense Industries, proposing the development of an Earth-orbiting artificial satellite. Korolev also forwarded Ustinov a report by test launches – held a meeting where Korolev presented calculation data for a spaceflight tragectory to the Moon. They decided to develop a three-stage version of the R-7 rocket for satellite launches. [cite web | url=http://epizodsspace.testpilot.ru/bibl/vetrov/korolev-delo/06-01.html | title=G. S. Vetrov, Korolev And His Job. Appendix 2 | language=Russian | accessdate=2008-03-26]

On January 30, 1956, the Council of Ministers of the USSR approved practical work on an artificial Earth-orbiting satellite. This satellite, named "Object D", was planned to be completed in 1957-58; it would have a mass of 1,000 to 1,400 kg (2,200 to 3,090 lb) and would carry 200 to 300 kg (440 to 660 lb.) of scientific instruments. [cite web | url=http://nauka.relis.ru/05/9710/05710002.htm | title=The Beginning | language=Russian | accessdate=2008-03-26] The first test launch of "Object D" was scheduled for 1957.cite web | url=http://www.buran.ru/htm/gud%2017.htm | title=First artificial satellites, "Zenit", "Electron" | language=Russian | accessdate=2008-03-26] According to that decision, work on the satellite was to be divided between institutions as follows:cite web | url=http://www.lidorenko.ru/ns1.htm | title=On the Launch of the First Earth's artificial satellite in the USSR | first=Nikolai | last=Lidorenko | language=Russian | accessdate=2008-03-26]

* USSR Academy of Sciences was responsible for the general scientific leadership and research instruments supply
* Ministry of Defense Industry and its main executor OKB-1 were assigned the task of creating the satellite as a special carrier for scientific research instruments
* Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry would develop the control system, radio/technical instruments and the telemetry system
* Ministry of Ship Building Industry would develop gyroscope devices
* Ministry of Machine Building would develop ground launching, refueling and transportation means
* Ministry of Defense was responsible for conducting launches

By July 1956 the draft was completed and the scientific tasks to be carried out by a satellite were defined. It included measuring density of the atmosphere, its ion composition, corpuscular solar radiation, magnetic fields, cosmic rays, etc. Data valuable for creating future oriented satellites was also planned to be collected. A ground observational complex was developed, that would collect information transmitted by the satellite, observe the satellite's orbit, and transmit commands to the satellite. Such a complex should include up to 15 measurement stations. Due to the limited time frame, they should have means designed for rocket R-7 observations. Observations were planned for only 7 to 10 days and orbit calculations were expected to be not quite accurate. [cite web | url=http://epizodsspace.testpilot.ru/bibl/nk/1997/16/16-1997.html | title=40 Years of Space Era | language=Russian | accessdate=2008-03-26]

Unfortunately, the complexity of the ambitious design and problems in following exact specifications meant that some parts of 'Object D', when delivered for assembly, simply did not fit with the others, causing costly delays. By the end of 1956 it became clear, that plans for 'Object D' were not to be fulfilled in time due to difficulties creating scientific instruments and the low specific impulse produced by completed R-7 engines (304 sec instead of the planned 309 to 310 sec). Consequently the government re-scheduled the launch for April 1958. Object D would later fly as Sputnik 3.

Fearing the U.S. would launch a satellite before the USSR, OKB-1 suggested the creation and launch of a satellite in April-May 1957, before the IGY began in July 1957. The new satellite would be simple, light (100 kg), and easy to construct, forgoing the complex, heavy scientific equipment in favour of a simple radio transmitter. On February 15, 1957 the Council of Ministers of the USSR approved this, providing for launching the simplest version satellite, designated 'Object PS'.cite web | url=http://claudelafleur.qc.ca/Spacecrafts-1957.html | title=Spacecrafts launched in 1957 | accessdate=2008-03-26] This version also facilitated the satellite to be visually tracked by Earth-based observers while in orbit, and transmit tracking signals to ground-based receiving stations.cite web | url=http://claudelafleur.qc.ca/Spacecrafts-1957.html | title=Spacecrafts launched in 1957 | accessdate=2008-03-26] Launch of two satellites PS-1 and PS-2 with two R-7 rockets (8K71) was allowed, but only after one or two successful R-7 test launches.

Launch vehicle preparation and launch site selection

The two-stage R-7 rocket was initially designed as an ICBM by OKB-1. The decision to build it was made by the CPSU Central Committee and the Council of Ministers of the USSR on May 20, 1954. [ru icon [http://www.arms.ru/nuclear/R7.htm ICBM R-7] at Arms.ru] A special reconnaissance commission selected Tyuratam as a place for the construction of a rocket proving ground (the 5th Tyuratam range, usually referred to as "NIIP-5", or "GIK-5" in the post-Soviet time). The selection was approved on February 12, 1955 by the Council of Ministers of the USSR, but the site would not be completed until 1958. [ [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/baikonur_origin.html Origin of the test range in Tyuratam] at Russianspaceweb.com] Actual work on the construction of the site began on July 20 by military building units. On June 14, 1956 Sergei Korolev decided to adapt the R-7 rocket to the 'Object D', [ [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik3.html Sputnik-3] at Russianspaceweb.com] that would later be replaced by the much lighter 'Object PS'.

The first launch of an R-7 rocket (8K71 No.5L) occurred on May 15, 1957. The flight was controlled until the 98th second, but a fire in a strap-on rocket led to an unintended crash 400 km from the site. [http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/r7.htm R-7] at Astronautix.com] Three attempts to launch the second rocket (8K71 No.6) were made on 10 June-11 June, which failed due to a mistake made during the rocket's assembly. [ [http://www.energia.ru/english/energia/launchers/rocket-r7.html R-7 Rocket] at Energia] The unsuccessful launch of the third R-7 rocket (8K71 No.7) took place on July 12. During the flight the rocket began to rotate about its longitudinal axis and its engines were automatically turned off. The packet of stages was destroyed 32.9 seconds into the flight. The stages fell 7 km from the site and exploded. [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/r7.html R-7 family of launchers and ICBMs] at Russianspaceweb.com]

The launch of the fourth rocket (8K71 No.8), on August 21 at 15:25 Moscow Time, was successful. Its head part separated, reached the defined region, entered the atmosphere, and was destroyed at a height of 10 km due to thermodynamic overload after traveling 6,000 km. On August 27 TASS the USSR issued a statement on the launch of a long-distance multistage ICBM. The launch of the fifth R-7 rocket (8K71 No.9), on September 7, was also successful, but the head part was also destroyed in the atmosphere, and hence needed a long redesign to completely fit its military purpose. The rocket, however, was already suitable for scientific satellite launches and this "time-out" of the rocket's military exploitation was used to launch the PS-1 and PS-2 satellites.

On September 22 a modified R-7 rocket, named Sputnik Rocket ( _ru. ракета-носитель Спутник) and indexed as 8K71PS, with the satellite PS-1, arrived at the proving ground and preparations for the launch began. [ru icon [http://www.nkau.gov.ua/gateway/news.nsf/NewsALLR/BC8D1101C20C9643C3256BB90039079F!open 45th Anniversary of the First Start of Native ICBM R-7] at Ukrainian Aerospace Portal] As the R-7 was designed to carry the much heavier Object D, its adaptation to PS-1 reduced its initial mass from 280 to 272.83 tons and its mass at the moment of take-off was 267 tons; its length with PS-1 was 29.167 meters and the thrust at the moment of start was 3.90 MN. [ [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik_lv.html Sputnik launch vehicle 8K71PS] ]

Observational complex

The measurement complex at the proving ground for monitoring launch vehicle parameters from its start onward was completed prior to the first R-7 rocket test launches in December 1956. It consisted of six static stations: IP-1 through IP-6, with IP-1 situated at a distance of 1 km from the launch pad.ru icon [http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/numbers/237/36.shtml Creation and Launch of the First Earth's Satellite] by V.Poroshkov] The main monitoring devices of these stations were telemetry and trajectory measurement stations, "Tral," developed by OKB MEI. They received and monitored data from the "Tral" system transponders mounted on the R-7 rocket; [ [http://www.okbmei.ru/upage.html?id=30 Wonderful "Seven" and First Satellites] at the website of OKB MEI] an on-board system that provided precise telemetric data about Sputnik's launch vehicle. The data was useful even after the satellite's separation from the second stage of the rocket; Sputnik's location was calculated from the data on the second stage's location (which followed Sputnik at a known distance) using nomograms developed by P.E. Elyasberg. [ [http://rgantd.ru/book_2.php?link=mozjorin Yu.A.Mozzhorin Memories] at the website of Russian state archive for scientific-technical documentation ]

An additional observational complex, established to track the satellite after its separation from the rocket, was completed by a group led by Colonel Yu.A.Mozzhorin in accordance with the General Staff directive of May 8, 1957. It was called the Command-Measurement Complex and consisted of the coordination center in "NII-4" by the Ministry of Defence of the USSR (at Bolshevo) and seven ground tracking stations, situated along the line of the satellite's ground track. They were: NIP-1 (at Tyuratam station, Kazakh SSR, situated not far from IP-1), NIP-2 (at Makat station, Guryev Oblast), NIP-3 (at Sary-Shagan station, Dzhezkazgan Oblast), NIP-4 (at Yeniseysk), NIP-5 (at village Iskup, Krasnoyarsk Krai), NIP-6 (at Yelizovo) and NIP-7 (at Klyuchi). [ [http://www.missiles.ru/VPK-missiles-Tikhonov.htm История предприятий, связанных с производством ракетной техники ] ] The complex had a communication channel with the launch pad. Stations were equipped with radar, optical instruments, and communication means. PS-1 was not designed to be controlled, it could only be observed. Data from stations were transmitted by telegraphs into "NII-4" where ballistics specialists calculated orbital parameters. The complex became an early prototype of the Soviet Mission Control Center [ru icon [http://nauka.relis.ru/26/0507/26507086.htm Mission Control Center: Labour, Joys and Ordeals] ]


The chief constructor of Sputnik 1 at OKB-1 was M.S.Khomyakov.ru icon [http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/numbers/230/52.shtml 80th Anniversary of Oleg Genrikhovich Ivanovsky] ] The satellite was a 585 mm (23 in) diameter sphere, assembled from two hemispheres which were hermetically sealed using o-rings and connected using 36 bolts. [ru icon [http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/russia/newsid_7010000/7010982.stm Space Era Start] at BBC Russia] The hemispheres, covered with a highly polished 1mm-thick heat shieldru icon [http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/numbers/157/03.shtml PS-1 - The First Earth's Artificial Satellite] ] made of aluminium-magnesium-titanium AMG6T ("AMG" is an abbreviation for "aluminium-magnesium" and "T" stands for "titanium", the alloy contains 6% of magnesium and 0.2% of titanium [ru icon [http://vuz.exponenta.ru/PDF/book/alum/alumvs.html Application of Aluminium Alloys in Construction] , book by N.M.Kirsanov, Voronezh, 1960] ) alloy, were 2mm-thick. [cite web | title=Sputnik 1 | publisher=Astronautix.com | url=http://www.astronautix.com/craft/sputnik1.htm | accessdate=2007-01-20] The satellite carried two antennas designed by the Antenna Laboratory of OKB-1 led by M.V.Krayushkin. Each antenna was made up of two whip-like parts: 2.4 and 2.9 meters (7.9 and 9.5 ft) in length, [ [http://www.pnp.ru/chapters/events/events_4378.html Парламентская газета // Разделы // События // Спутник, спасший мир ] ] and had an almost spherical radiation pattern, so that the satellite beeps were transmitted with equal power in all directions; making reception of the transmitted signal independent of the satellite's rotation. The whip-like pairs of antennas resembled four long "whiskers" pointing to one side, at equal 35 degrees angles with the longitudinal axis of the satellite.

The power supply, with a mass of 51 kg,ru icon [http://www.eer-magazine.com/ru/5791.html Fifty Space Years] by A.Zheleznyakov] was in the shape of an octahedral nut with the radio transmitter in its hole. [ru icon [http://www.rtc.ru/encyk/bibl/modif/golovanov/korolev/57.html Korolev:Facts and Myths] , book by Yaroslav Golovanov] It consisted of three silver-zinc batteries, developed at the All-Union Research Institute of Current Sources (VNIIT) under the leadership of N. S. Lidorenko. Two of them powered the radio transmitter and one powered the temperature regulation system. They were expected to fade out in two weeks, but ended up working for 22 days. The power supply was turned on automatically at the moment of the satellite's separation from the second stage of the rocket. [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik_design.html Sputnik Design] at Russianspaceweb.com]

The satellite had a one-watt, 3.5 kg radio transmitting unit inside, developed by V. I. Lappo from "NII-885," that worked on two frequencies, 20.005 and 40.002 MHz. Signals on the first frequency were transmitted in 0.3 sec pulses (under normal temperature and pressure conditions on-board), with pauses of the same duration filled by pulses on the second frequency. [ [http://rgantd.ru/vzal/korolev/pics/015_007.jpgForm of Signals of the First Earth's Artificial Satellite] - a document at the website of Russian state archive for scientific-technical documentation] Analysis of the radio signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere. Temperature and pressure were encoded in the duration of radio beeps, which additionally indicated that the satellite had not been punctured by a meteorite. A temperature regulation system contained a fan, a dual thermal switch, and a control thermal switch. If the temperature inside the satellite exceeded 36 °C the fan was turned on and when it fell below 20 °C the fan was turned off by the dual thermal switch. [http://www.space-ru.com/russian-satellites/satellite-sputnik-1/ Satellite Sputnik-1] ] If the temperature exceeded 50 °C or fell below 0 °C, another control thermal switch was activated, changing the duration of the of radio signal pulses. Sputnik 1 was filled with dry nitrogen, pressurized to 1.3 atm. [http://www.arrl.org/news/features/2007/09/28/03/ Sputnik and Amateur Radio] ] For the pressure control the satellite had a barometric switch, activated when the pressure inside the satellite fell below 0.35 kg/cm² (approx. 0.34 atm), changing the duration of radio signal impulse.

While attached to the rocket, Sputnik 1 was protected by a cone-shaped payload fairing, with a height of 80 cm and an aperture of 48 degrees. The fairing separated from both Sputnik 1 and the rocket at the same time when the satellite was ejected. Tests of the satellite were conducted at OKB-1 under the leadership of O. G. Ivanovsky. Sputnik 1 was launched by an R-7 rocket on October 4, 1957. It burned up upon re-entry on January 4, 1958.

Launch and mission

The control system of the Sputnik Rocket was tuned to provide an orbit with the following parameters: perigee height - 223 km, apogee height - 1450 km, orbital period - 101.5 min.ru icon [http://epizodsspace.testpilot.ru/bibl/vetrov/korolev-delo/03-03.html#36 Main Results of the Launch of the Rocket with the First ISZ Onboard on October 4, 1957] - document signed by S.P.Korolev, V.P.Glushko, N.A.Pilyugin and V.P.Barmin, in the book by Vetrov "Korolev and His Job"] A rocket trajectory with these parameters was calculated earlier by Georgi Grechko, [ [http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Sep30/0,4670,SputnikapossSecrets,00.html Secrets of 1957 Sputnik Launch Revealed] at Foxnews] after completing the calculations over several nights on the USSR Academy of Sciences's mainframe computer.

The Sputnik Rocket was launched at 19:28:34 UTC, on October 4, 1957, from Site No.1 at NIIP-5. [es icon [http://www.tecnocosmos.com/archivo/1957/1957001b.htm Sputnik 1] ] Processing of the information, obtained from the "Tral" system showed that the side boosters separated 116.38 seconds into the flight and the second stage engine was shut-down 294.6 seconds into the flight. At this moment the second stage with PS-1 attached had a height of 223 km above Earth's surface, a velocity of 7,780 m/s and velocity vector inclination to the local horizon was 0 degrees 24 minutes. This motion resulted in an orbit with initial parameters: perigee height - 223 km, apogee height - 950 km, initial orbital period - 96.2 minutes.

After 314.5 seconds PS-1 separated from the second stage and at the same moment at the small "Finnish house" of IP-1 station Junior Engineer-Lieutenant V.G.Borisov heard the "Beep-beep-beep" signals from the radio receiver R-250. Reception lasted for two minutes, while PS-1 was above the horizon. There were many people in the house, both military and civil, and they were probably the first to celebrate the event. [ru icon [http://epizodsspace.testpilot.ru/bibl/ziv/2002/5-kak-zap.html How the First Sputnik Was Launched] at "Zemlya i Vselennaya" magazine, No.5, 2002] After 325.44 seconds a corner reflector on the second stage was opened, that also allowed measurement of its orbit parameters - like the working "Tral" system did.

The designers, engineers and technicians who developed the rocket and satellite watched the launch from the range.cite web| title=World's first satellite and the international community's response| publisher=VoR.ru| url=http://www.vor.ru/Space_now/Satellite/Satellite_102_eng.html| accessdate=2007-01-22] After the launch they ran to the mobile radio station to listen to signals from the satellite. They waited about 90 minutes to ensure that the satellite had made one orbit and was transmitting, before Korolyov called Khrushchev."Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age" by Matthew Brzezinski, 2007-11-14, ISBN 978-1410402790] The downlink telemetry included data on temperatures inside and on the surface of the sphere.

On the first orbit the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) transmitted: "As result of great, intense work of scientific institutes and design bureaus the first artificial Earth satellite has been built". [ru icon cite web | title= Спутник-1 - начало космической эры | publisher=Rustrana.ru| date=July 21, 2005 | url=http://www.rustrana.ru/article.php?nid=4632 | accessdate=2007-10-04] The Sputnik 1 rocket booster (second stage of the rocket) also reached Earth orbit and was visible from the ground at night as a first magnitude object following the satellite. Korolyov had intentionally requested reflective panels placed on the booster in order to make it so visible. The satellite itself, a small but highly polished sphere, was barely visible at sixth magnitude, and thus more difficult to follow optically. Ahead of Sputnik 1 flew the third object - the payload fairing, 80cm-long cone, i.e. a little bit bigger than the satellite.


Teams of visual observers at 150 stations in the United States and other countries were alerted during the night to watch for the Soviet sphere at dawn and during the evening twilight. They had been organized in Project Moonwatch to sight the satellite through binoculars or telescopes as it passed overhead.cite news | title=Course Recorded | url=http://www.nytimes.com/partners/aol/special/sputnik/sput-02.html | publisher=New York Times | first=Walter | last=Sullivan | date=October 5, 1957 | accessdate=2007-01-20] The USSR asked radio amateurs and commercial stations to record the sound of the satellite on magnetic tape.

News reports at the time pointed out that "anyone possessing a short wave receiver can hear the new Russian earth satellite as it hurtles over his area of the globe". Directions, provided by the American Radio Relay League were to "Tune in 20 megacycles sharply, by the time signals, given on that frequency. Then tune to slightly higher frequencies. The 'beep, beep' sound of the satellite can be heard each time it rounds the globe," [ "How To Tune," "San Antonio Light", October 5, 1957, p1 ]

At first the Soviet Union agreed to use equipment "compatible" with that of the United States, but later announced the lower frequencies. The White House declined to comment on military aspects of the launch, but said it "did not come as a surprise." [cite news | title=Senators Attack Missile Fund Cut | url=http://www.nytimes.com/partners/aol/special/sputnik/sput-10.html | publisher=New York Times | date=October 6, 1957 | accessdate= 2007-01-20] On October 5 the Naval Research Laboratory announced it had recorded four crossings of "Sputnik-1" over the United States. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower obtained photographs of the Soviet facilities from Lockheed U-2 flights conducted since 1956.cite web | title=Here Comes Sputnik! | publisher=Batnet.com | date=August 30, 1997 | url=http://www.batnet.com/mfwright/sputnik.html | accessdate=2007-01-22]

Controversy surrounding re-entry

Long-standing official accounts state that, based on the degradation of Sputnik 1's orbit, the satellite re-entered the atmosphere on or about January 4, 1958, whereupon it is assumed to have burned up completely. The Sputnik 1 rocket booster re-entry was expected to occur somewhere above Alaska, or the West coast of North America, according to Soviet predictions in December 1957.cite web | url=http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ/MGArticle/WSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149193257486 | title=Charred debris questioned as pieces of Sputnik to go on tour | accessdate=2007-10-04 | date=February 18, 2007 | publisher=journalnow.com]

There are dubious claims however, that certain components did survive: Per recent news reports, on the morning of December 8, 1957, Earl Thomas of Encino, California, was leaving his home to go to work, when he noticed something glowing beneath a tree in his back yard. The source turned out to be several pieces of plastic tubing, which he claimed matched structural diagrams of the Sputnik 1 satellite. A local Los Angeles radio DJ, Mark Ford of KDAY Radio, was at the same time offering a $50,000 reward for anyone who had found Sputnik, which reportedly had gone down in the L.A. area. When Thomas tried to claim the reward, he was met by a representative of the United States Air Force, who received the pieces Thomas found, and wrote a receipt on Air Force stationery. Later, after the radio station denied having offered a reward, Thomas brought the receipt back to the Air Force, where the sergeant on duty gave the pieces back to Thomas. The family wrote to government officials at all levels in an attempt to collect the reward, but were told that the government had not offered a reward. Of particular interest, however, was a reply from Colonel W.G. Woodbury of the Air Force, which includes the statement "At the time you recovered the Sputnik parts..." Currently, the disputed parts are in the possession of Bob Morgan, Thomas' son. An exhibit about the parts is currently on display at [http://thebeatmuseum.org/ The Beat Museum] , in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco.cite web | url=http://www.thebeatmuseum.org/sputnik.htm | title=Have the Beatniks Found Sputnik? | publisher=The Beat Museum in North Beach | accessdate=2007-10-04]

Pop culture

*Sputnik 1 resulted in a fashion trend now called the "Sputnik Lamp", which usually consists of a metallic sphere with bars jutting out in multiple directions holding light bulbs or lamp globes at the ends. Most have 8 to 15 bars, as opposed to the 4 antennae on Sputnik 1. As an example of such a lamp, see http://site.inmod.com/images/vignettes/sputnik.jpg.

*Sputnik was referenced in "Toy Story 2", when "Woody's Roundup" is canceled because of the Sputnik space probe. Stinky Pete the Prospector explains that "as soon as the astronauts went up, children only wanted to play with space toys." [http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-092907a.html]

*Also, Sputnik appears briefly in a "Happy Tree Friends" episode, "Ski Ya, Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya". Flaky goes up on a ski lift and lands on an extremely high mountain. As Flaky panics, Sputnik flies overhead, showing how high up she is.

*In "WALL-E", the titular character crashes into Sputnik, among other satellites, during his departure from Earth.

*In the "Arthur" episode titled "Arthur the Wrecker", Arthur and Buster walk through the planetarium in their search for the Brain, and in the background Sputnik 1 is featured hanging from the roof.

*The beginning of the movie "The Iron Giant", Sputnik is shown orbiting the earth, prior to the Giant entering the atmosphere. Also, the crashed Giant is first rumored to be Sputnik.

*In the movie "October Sky", the satellite is mentioned at the beginning of the movie. Later as the main character watches Sputnik 1 over head he becomes interested in rocket science.

*In a flashback section of the "" episode "Carbon Creek", a Vulcan starship is in orbit around Earth in early October of 1957, and its crew closely observes the Sputnik I satellite.

*Sputnik is also the name of a track by electronic dance music artist Zoo Brazil from his 2008 Album.


One "Sputnik 1" replica, built by French and Russian teenagers and hand-launched from Mir on November 3, 1997, reentered Earth's atmosphere after two months in orbit.

In 2003 a back-up unit of Sputnik 1 called "model PS-1" failed to sell on eBay. [cite web |url=http://www.collectspace.com/archive/archive-0603.html#0606031146 |title=Sputnik sale crashes |publisher=collectSPACE] It was offered while still on display in a science institute near Kyiv. It is estimated that between four and twenty models were made for testing and as replicas.

A Sputnik 1 model was given as a gift to the United Nations and now decorates the entry Hall of its New York City Headquarters.

What is thought to be a backup of Sputnik 1 now hangs at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The craft was manufactured by the Soviet Academy of Sciences and has battery acid remnants on the inside walls of the spherical shell, as well as fittings for the various components, suggesting that it was more than just a model. [cite web |url=http://collectspace.com/news/news-092607a.html |title=The Top Ten Sputniks |publisher=collectspace.com]

Another replica is on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

A Sputnik 1 backup unit is on display at the personal library of Jay Walker, an Internet entrepreneur. [cite web |url=http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-10/ff_walker?currentPage=all |title=Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library |publisher=wired.com]

A further replica is on display in the Space section of the Science Museum, London.

Three accurate replicas of the Sputnik 1 titled "My Sputnik", were created by the artist and inventor Michael Joaquin Grey in 1990 and exhibited in art galleries and museums internationally.


ee also

* ILLIAC I - First computer to calculate the orbit of Sputnik I.
* Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, created in 1958)

External links

Authentic recordings of the signal

* [http://www.MentalLandscape.com/Sputnik1_WashingtonDC.mp3 Recording from Washington DC]
* [http://www.MentalLandscape.com/Sputnik1_GermanHam.mp3 Recording from German Ham Operator]
* [http://www.MentalLandscape.com/Sputnik1_Czech.mp3 Recording from Czechoslovakia]

This Russian page contains signals which are probably the faster pulsations from Sputnik-2:
* [http://www.vor.ru/Space_now/Satellite/Satellite_102_eng.html World's first satellite and the international community's response]

A NASA history website on Sputnik contains this commonly copied recording, which is some pulse-duration-modulated signal of an unknown spacecraft:
* [http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/sputnik.wav NASA false Sputnik recording]


Three recent historical articles are noteworthy for their research and debunking of common misinformation:
* [http://www.mentallandscape.com/S_Sputnik.htm by Don Mitchell]
* [http://faculty.fordham.edu/siddiqi/sws/sputnik/sputnik.html by Asif Siddiqi]
* [http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik.html by Anatoly Zak]

Other sites of interest:
* [http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Sputnik/Sputnik1.php Sputnik 1 Diary]

Primary sources

* [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/sputnik/ussr.html Soviet documents]
* [http://www.w9az.com/1957_his.html Newspaper accounts on radio ham operators]


* [http://space.mooo.com/sputnik1 1958 Video Newsreel of Russian Exhibition of Sputnik 1]
* [http://en.rian.ru/video/20071003/82269150.html 50th anniversary of the Earth's first artificial satellite launch. RIA Novosti Video]
* [http://www.inmod.com/sputniklamps.html Lighting inspired by Sputnik]
* [http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/ NASA on Sputnik 1]
* [http://sputnik.infospace.ru/ A joint Russian project of Ground microprocessing information systems SRC "PLANETA" and Space Monitoring Information Support laboratory (IKI RAN) dedicated to the 40th anniversary of "Sputnik 1"]
* [http://sputnik.irmielin.org International Sputnik Day]
* [http://collectspace.com/top10sputniks Top Ten Sputniks]
* cite journal
last = Dudney
first = Robert S.
title = When Sputnik Shocked the World
journal = AIR FORCE MAGAZINE, Journal of the Air Force Assoc.
volume = 90
issue = 10
pages = pp.2–43
date = October 2007
publisher = AFA
url = http://www.afa.org/magazine/oct2007/
id = ISSN: 0730-6784
accessdate = 2007-10-02

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sputnik — [ˈsput.nʲik] (russisch Спутник für „Weggefährte“, „Begleiter“, in astronomischer Bedeutung „Trabant“ und „Satellit“) war der Name der ersten zehn sowjetischen Satelliten, die eine Erdumlaufbahn erreichten. Sputnik 1 war am 4. Oktober 1957… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sputnik 2 — Sputnik /ˈsputnʲik/ (russisch Спутник für „Weggefährte“, „Begleiter“, in astronomischer Bedeutung „Satellit“) war der Name der ersten zehn sowjetischen Satelliten, die eine Erdumlaufbahn erreichten. Sputnik 1 war am 4. Oktober 1957 der erste… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sputnik 1 — La nave Sputnik 1 Organización Unión Soviética Contratistas Korolev …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 3 — Operator Soviet Union Major contractors Korolev Design Bureau Mission type Earth Science Satellite of …   Wikipedia

  • Sputnik 1 — (russisch Спутник für Begleiter (der Erde)) war der erste künstliche Erdsatellit. Mit ihm begann am 4. Oktober 1957 das Zeitalter der Raumfahrt. Der Satellit war zwar von der Sowjetunion für den Verlauf des Internationalen Geo …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sputnik 2 — Organización: Unión Soviética Contratistas mayoritarios: Buró de Diseño de Korolev Tipo de misión: Ciencias de la Tierra Satélite de: La Tierra …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 9 — Estadísticas de la misión Imagen: Nombre de la misión: Sputnik 9 Señal de llamada: Korabl Sputnik 4 Tripulación: Animales …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 5 — fue un satélite artificial soviético dentro del programa Sputnik, lanzado el 19 de agosto de 1960. Fue la segunda prueba de vuelo del Programa Vostok, en algunas ocasiones llamado Korabl Sputnik 2 ( korabl en ruso, barco). Llevaba a bordo a los… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 10 — Estadísticas de la misión Imagen: Nombre de la misión: Sputnik 10 Nombre de la señal: Korabl Sputnik 5 Tripulación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 3 — Organización: Unión Soviética Contratistas mayoritarios: Buró de Diseño de Korolev Tipo de misión: Ciencias de la Tierra Satélite de: La Tierra …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sputnik 25 — (E 6 series) was a Soviet spacecraft whose mission was an attempted lunar soft landing, with the purpose of returning data on the mechanical characteristics of the lunar surface, the hazards presented by the topology such as craters, rocks, and… …   Wikipedia

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