DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sputnik 1 rocket track. Long exposure photograph of the night sky showing the track of the rocket that carried Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. Sputnik 1 was launched on October 4th, 1957 by the former Soviet Union. The name Sputnik is Russian for 'travel companion' or satellite. The body was made from a highly polished aluminium alloy sphere which measured 58 centimetres in diameter and weighed 83.5 kilograms. It also had four long antennas attached. Sputnik 1 transmitted radio signals back to earth for a period of 21 days. The success of Sputnik 1 prompted the US government to enter the Space Race with the launch of Explorer-1 four months later. Photographed on October 16th, 1957.
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