SATELLITE LAUNCHED ON THIS DAY IN 1957

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The
Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik,
the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the
Russian word for “satellite,” was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from
the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. Sputnik had a diameter
of 22 inches and weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour
and 36 minutes. Traveling at 18,000 miles an hour, its elliptical orbit had an
apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 584 miles and a perigee (nearest point)
of 143 miles. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by
amateur radio operators. Those in the United States with access to such
equipment tuned in and listened in awe as the beeping Soviet spacecraft
passed over America several times a day. In January 1958, Sputnik’s orbit deteriorated, as expected, and the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere.

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posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,DEBUT,HISTORY,Launch,NEWSPAPER,Satellite,SPACE,USSR and have No Comments

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