Launch of the Space Age
October 1, 2021
October 4th is the 64th Anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and the start of World Space Week 2021. It's the perfect day to celebrate space exploration!
64 years ago, the Soviets shocked the world with the launch of the first man-made satellite – Sputnik 1. In turn marking the beginning of the Space Race.
Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite launched into orbit around Earth. Its scientific value was minimal and was overshadowed by the technical achievement of sending a large payload into space. Weighing in at 184.3 pounds and the size of a large beach ball, Sputnik 1 traveled around the globe transmitting an ominous beep over radio airways – it was one of the most terrifying events in American history.
The Cosmosphere is home to the flight-ready backup for Sputnik. (Sputnik is currently not on display in the Cosmosphere's Hall of Space Museum as the Cold War Gallery is under renovation through the end of the year.)