Remembering Sputnik 1: 52nd anniversary

We have come so far as 52 years after the launch of – Sputnik I. It’s the world’s first artificial satellite, about the size of a beach ball (58cm or 22.8inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. This single launch managed to put the stepping stone to many new political, military, technology and scientific developments to come. This was the Dawn of Space Age!

Some memorable images...

A replica of Sputnik.

This metal arming key is the last remaining piece of the first Sputnik satellite. It prevented contact between the batteries and the transmitter prior to launch. Currently on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

The State Commission for the Sputnik satellite shown in 1957

Sputnik 1 Assembly
Announcement of intention to launch an earth satellite during the IGY by the Soviets.

Sputnik 1 in much more detail. The name comes from a Russian word for "traveling companion of the world."

Launch of Sputnik 1

Soviet 40 copecks stamp, showing satellite's orbit.

Images courtesy: NASA