In connection with the International Geophysical Year the first Soviet Sputnik (artificial satellite, man-made moon, baby-moon, Bleep) was launched on October 4, 1957.
A carrier-rocket launched Sputnik into the upper layers of the atmosphere.
Sputnik began circling the earth at an altitude of approximately 900 km at a speed of some 8 km per second.
It completed a full revolution round the earth in 1 hour 36,2 minutes.
The satellite was spherical in form with a diameter of 58 cm and weighed 83,6 kg.
Installed in it were two radio-transmitters which continually sent radio signals.
The radio signals received from the transmitters were being deciphered by many observatories, scientific institutions as well as by radio fans.
The scientific importance of the radio signals is tremendous: the satellite made it possible to receive signals from the ionosphere where radio waves sent from the surface cannot, penetrate.
A schedule of places and times where and when Sputnik could be observed was being published in the Soviet and foreign press.
Sputnik was observed with radio-telescope and sometimes it could be seen with the naked eye.
On November 3, 1957 the second Soviet Sputnik was launched with a dog on board.
Sputnik 2 weighed 508 kg and was travelling at the speed of its predecessor, but its orbit was much higher.
The dog, Laika, was in a hermetically sealed chamber, and was being artificially fed.
Close study was made of the dog's behaviour and physiological processes as a prelude to flights into interplanetary space by human beings.
On May 15, 1958 a third Soviet Sputnik was launched weighing 1327 kg.
The launching of the satellites is a magnificent step forward in science. It was a tremendous achievement of Soviet scientists and engineers.
October 4, 1957 will go down in history as the beginning of the era of interplanetary navigation and the first step towards the conquest of the cosmos.
- In what connection was the Soviet Sputnik launched?
- The Soviet Sputnik was launched in connection with the International Geophysical Year.
- When was the first Soviet artificial satellite launched?
- It was launched on October 4, 1957.
- Why will people remember this date?
- This date will be remembered as the beginning of interplanetary navigation and as the first step towards the conquest of the cosmos.
- When was the second man-made moon launched?
- The second man-made moon was launched on November 3, 1957.
- What was the difference between the two Sputniks?
- Sputnik 2 was much bigger, and what is more important it had a dog on board.
- Why was a dog sent into unexplored interplanetary space?
- Close study was made of the dog's behaviour and the physiological processes as a prelude to flights into space by human beings.
- What is the scientific importance of the signals received from the satellites?
- The importance is tremendous. The satellites made it possible to receive signals from the ionosphere where radio waves sent from the surface couldn't penetrate.
- When did the signals cease?
- They ceased when the batteries wore out.
- How did you know when the satellite would be passing over your city?
- A schedule of places and time where and when Sputnik could be observed was being publiched in the Soviet and foreign press.
- Did you see the satellite?
- I saw it at 7.4 a.m. March 22, 1958 when it was passing over Moscow - on scheduled time.
- Did you use field-glasses?
- No, I saw it with my naked eye. It looked like a bright star.
- Why was the Soviet Union the first to have launched1 an artificial satellite?
- In our Socialist country science and engineering are on the highest level.
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