Today, humanity celebrates the anniversary of the beginning of space exploration


Today, humanity celebrates the anniversary of the beginning of space exploration

Exactly 63 years ago, on October 4, 1957, the space era of mankind began: then the first artificial Earth satellite was launched from the 5th Research Range of the USSR Ministry of Defense, which later received the name Baikonur Cosmodrome.


This device was Sputnik-1, also known as PS-1 (“The Simplest Sputnik-1”). For the launch, the launch vehicle Sputnik (R-7) was used, which put the vehicle into an elliptical orbit 295 seconds after launch.

The development of PS-1 began at OKB-1 (now the SP Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia) in November 1956. The satellite was a ball with a diameter of 58 centimeters and a mass of 83.6 kilograms, equipped with four-pin antennas for transmitting signals from battery-powered transmitters.

After a successful launch, the first spacecraft in human history gave a voice. “Beep! Beep! ”- that was the call sign of Sputnik-1.

It is important to note that “PS-1”, despite the simplicity of its design, solved a number of problems. This is a verification of the calculations and basic technical solutions adopted for the launch; ionospheric studies of the passage of radio waves emitted by satellite transmitters; experimental determination of the density of the upper layers of the atmosphere from the deceleration of the satellite and the study of the operating conditions of the equipment in the space environment.

In total, the satellite was able to complete 1,440 revolutions around the Earth. The device flew 92 days – until January 4, 1958, although the radio transmitters functioned only for two weeks after launch.



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