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Sputnik 3
Sputnik 3
Sputnik 3
Credit: © Mark Wade
Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. In July 1956 OKB-1 completed the draft project for the first earth satellite, designated ISZ (Artificial Earth Satellite).

AKA: D-1; ISZ. Status: Operational 1958. First Launch: 1958-04-27. Last Launch: 1958-05-15. Number: 2 . Gross mass: 1,327 kg (2,925 lb).

The government go-ahead came in a decree of 3 September 1956. The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. 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, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.

Family: Earth, Magnetosphere sat. Country: Russia. Launch Vehicles: R-7, Sputnik 8A91. Launch Sites: Baikonur, Baikonur LC1. Agency: Korolev bureau. More at: 6934, 13185. Bibliography: 173, 2, 367, 445, 474, 483, 6.


Photo Gallery

Sputnik 3Sputnik 3
Credit: Manufacturer Image



1952 May 16 - .
  • International Geophysical Year Committee established. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3, Vanguard 2. The Special Committee for the International Polar Year (later designated the International Geophysical Year), was established..

1956 January 30 - .
  • Development of first Sputnik authorised. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Central Committee of the Communist Party and Council of Soviet Ministers Decree 149882 'On creation of the Object D artificial satellite' was issued..

1956 July - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • OKB-1 completed draft project for the first earth satellite - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Tikhonravov's unit of OKB-1 completed the preliminary design of the ISZ satellite (launched as Sputnik 3). The Fourth Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence had meanwhile completed a draft project for the KIK ground control system. Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ satellite was to have been launched by the new R-7 ICBM as the Soviet Union's first satellite, but the R-7 was ready before the satellite, so it was preceded by Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. The ISZ was a miniature physics laboratory, but was launched with a known faulty recorder, limiting data to that received when the spacecraft was over Soviet tracking stations. As a result, the Van Allen radiation belts were discovered by the United States rather than Russia.


1956 September 3 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Soviet space and ballistic missile tracking network established. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Decree 1241-632 '0n creation or the Command Measurement Complex' was issued. The decree marked the beginning of development of the KIK satellite tracking system. This network was put together using a combination of PVO (Air Defence) and ICBM tracking systems. Trajectory information was fed into the KIK Centre for orbital calculations. The Centre was staffed by 680 officers and 151 civilian scientists of the Soviet Army in four sections.


1956 September 30 - .
  • First official plan for future Soviet spaceflight - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3, Vostok, Zenit-2 satellite.

    This set forth the following objectives: orbiting of satellites of 1.8 to 2.5 tonnes mass by 1958; one week flight of a manned spacecraft by 1964; unmanned reconnaissance satellite by 1970; rocket capable of 12 tonne escape velocity payload by 1970; rocket with 100 tonne low earth orbit payload to be developed, capable of placing 2 to 3 men on the moon (no date set).


1956 September 30 - . LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: R-7.
  • Sputnik 3 draft project approved. - . Nation: Russia. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3.

    Decree 'On approval of the draft project for Object D' was issued. The decree gave the go-ahead for Tikhonravov's 1.4 tonne ISZ physics satellite to be launched by the new R-7 ICBM during the International Geophysical Year . The ISZ, a miniature physics laboratory,.was to have been the first artificial satellite of the earth. In the event, it was preceded by Sputniks 1 and 2.


1958 April 27 - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 8A91. FAILURE: Launch vehicle disintegrated 88 seconds after liftoff.. Failed Stage: 0.
  • Sputnik failure - . Payload: D-1 s/n 1. Mass: 1,327 kg (2,925 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decay Date: 1958-04-01 .

1958 May 15 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Sputnik 8A91.
  • Sputnik 3 - . Payload: D-1 s/n 2. Mass: 1,327 kg (2,925 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: MVS. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Sputnik 3. Spacecraft: Sputnik 3. Decay Date: 1960-04-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 8 . COSPAR: 1958-Delta-2. Apogee: 1,864 km (1,158 mi). Perigee: 217 km (134 mi). Inclination: 65.2000 deg. Period: 106.00 min. Variety of scientific data. Research in the upper atmosphere and outer space.


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