12/08/2020 03:06 PM | Click to read full article
Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into the Earth’s orbit on 4 October 1957.
The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite,” weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour and 36 minutes. The first U.S. satellite, Explorer, was launched on January 31, 1958. By then, the Soviets had already achieved another ideological victory when they launched a dog into orbit aboard Sputnik 2.