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Sputnik 1 facts for kids

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Sputnik 1
Replica of Sputnik 1
Names Спутник-1
Mission type Technology demonstration
Operator OKB-1
Harvard designation 1957 Alpha 2
Mission duration 21 days
Orbits completed 1440
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer OKB-1
Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry
Launch mass 83.6 kg (184 lb)
Dimensions 58 cm (23 in) diameter
Power 1 watt
Start of mission
Launch date 4 October 1957, 19:28:34 (1957-10-04UTC19:28:34) UTC
Rocket Sputnik 8K71PS
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
End of mission
Disposal Orbital decay
Last contact 26 October 1957 (1957-10-26)
Decay date 4 January 1958
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Semi-major axis 6,955 km (4,322 mi)
Eccentricity 0.05201
Perigee 215 km (134 mi)
Apogee 939 km (583 mi)
Inclination 65.1°
Period 96.2 minutes
Epoch 4 October 1957, 15:12 UTC
← None

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to go around the Earth. It was made by the Soviet Union. It was launched on 4 October 1957 at Baikonur Cosmodrome. It orbited (went around) the Earth for three months. It carried a radio transmitter. It did 1,440 orbits of the Earth during this time. It went down into Earth's atmosphere on 4 January 1958 and burned up.

The United States was very surprised when the Soviet Union sent Sputnik 1 into space. It did not want to fall behind. So, it began spending more money on science and education. This was when the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States began.


The word Sputnik comes from the Russian Спутник, literally travelling companion. It is pronounced or not.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Sputnik 1 para niños

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