Encyclopedia Astronautica
Sputnik 1



sputnik1.jpg
Sputnik 1
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian technology satellite. One launch, 1957.10.04. Tikhonravov's 1.4 metric ton ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, during the International Geophysical Year.

But it was not ready in time, so Korolev hurriedly developed Sputnik 1 as a replacement. It became the first artificial satellite of the earth. Sputnik 1 had 1 watt of power, producing an 0.4 second duration signal on the 7 and 15 m bands. Four antennae were deployed at 35 degree angles. Power was provided by three silver-zinc batteries. Thermo-regulation was by a ventilator. The 580 mm sphere had a mass of 83 kg and was made of highly polished Aluminum AMG6T alloy 2 mm thick. It was built without drawings due to the quick time schedule. Korolev was everywhere, supervising all aspects of its construction. It functioned for 21 days.

AKA: PS-1.
Gross mass: 84 kg (185 lb).
First Launch: 1957.10.04.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • R-7 Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. The world's first ICBM and first orbital launch vehicle. The 8K71 version was never actually put into military service, being succeeded by the R-7A 8K74. More...
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Sputnik 8K71PS Russian intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Relatively unmodified R-7 ICBM test vehicles used to launch first two Sputniks. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Harvey, Brian, "Some Details on Project Zenith (1957 Onwards)", Spaceflight, 1993, Volume 35, page 382.
  • Varfolomyev, Timothy, "Soviet Rocketry that Conquered Space - 8K71 launches", Spaceflight, 1996, Volume 38, page 31.
  • Melnik, T G, Voenno-Kosmicheskiy Siliy, Nauka, Moscow, 1997..
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, The Soviet Space Race With Apollo, University Press of Florida, 2003.
  • NASA Report, Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite , Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Sputnik 1 Chronology


1957 February 15 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Decision to build Sputnik 1 due to delays in Sputnik 3 design. - . Nation: USSR. Spacecraft: Sputnik 1. Summary: Council of Soviet Ministers (SM) Decree 171-83ss 'On Measures to Carry Out During the International Geophysical Year.--Launch of simple satellites in mid-1957' was issued..

1957 October 4 - . 19:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 8K71PS. LV Configuration: Sputnik 8K71PS No. 1PS.
  • Sputnik 1 - . Payload: PS. Mass: 84 kg (185 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MVS. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Sputnik 1. Decay Date: 1958-01-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 2 . COSPAR: 1957-Alpha-2. Apogee: 945 km (587 mi). Perigee: 227 km (141 mi). Inclination: 65.0000 deg. Period: 96.10 min. First artificial satellite; transmitted signals for 21 days. Launching of first ever artificial satellite of the Earth; physical study of the atmosphere; remained in orbit until January 4, 1958. This event began the space race by galvanizing interest and action on the part of the American public to support an active role in space research, technology, and exploration.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use