The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik with three artificial earth satellites On October 4, 1957. Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to be launched, has an 83.6 kg capsule. It reached an orbit of 940 km and 230 km and orbited the Earth every 96 minutes and remained in orbit until January 4, 1958. When it falls back and burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Many Americans were shocked after the launch of Sputnik 1. The Sputnik launch led to a “space race” between America and the Soviet Union.
Launched on November 3, 1957, Sputnik 2 shot into space and took the first living creature to orbit the Earth, the dog Laika. Laika is a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow. There were no plans to bring her back to Earth, and she lived only a few hours in orbit. Launched on May 15, 1958, Sputnik 3 carried 12 instruments to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere and space, and was the heaviest satellite at the time, weighing 1,327 kilograms. Sputnik 3 was intended to be the first satellite. but with complexity and size, the Soviets were decided to launch Sputnik 1 spacecraft.
The Soviets officially named only three satellites, Sputnik 1,2,3. In the West Sputnik was used as a generic name for Soviet satellites. These “Sputniks” included the first explorations of Venus and Mars 1, as well as five missions of the crew’s Vortex spacecraft that preceded Yuri Gagarin’s flight in 1961.