4 October 1957 – the Earth’s first artificial satellite

The mankind has launched the Earth’s first artificial satellite into space.

Sputnik 1 – as that was the name of the satellite, was launched by Soviet Union on 4th October 1957, at 19:28 UTC from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, on board of the Sputnik 8K71PS launch vehicle.

After the Second World War, the political tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union led to economic and technological rivalry of those superpowers, including the will to conquer the space. Launching the Sputnik 1 was one of the essential events of the mentioned ´space race´. Since then, for both competing countries it became clear that the next step would be to send a man into space.

Photo credits: NASA Image and Video Library (NASA ID: S76-22361, Date Created: 1976-01-01. A close-up view of the full-scale mockup of the Sputnik 1 spacecraft on display at the Soviet Pavilion at the Paris Air Show, France. Photo credit: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration)