Sputnik 1 communications room

Sputnik 1 communications room

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Sputnik 1 communications room. A radio operator in Moscow, Russia, receiving radio signals from Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 was the world's first artificial satellite and was launched on 4th October 1957 by the former Soviet Union. The name Sputnik is Russian for 'travel companion' or satellite. The body was a highly polished aluminium alloy sphere which measured 58 centimetres in diameter and weighed 83.5 kilograms. It had four long antennae, which enabled it to transmit radio signals back to Earth for 21 days. Sputnik 1 burned up on 4 January 1958, as it fell from orbit and re-entered Earth's atmosphere, having travelled about 70 million kilometres. Sputnik 1's success prompted the US government to enter the Space Race, with the launch of Explorer-1 four months later. Photographed on 5th October, 1957.

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