Scale 1:10 Published: September 30, 2007
Sputnik is simply the Russian word for satellite.
In August 29, 1949 USSR tested it first nuclear bomb, but lacked a way to deliver it to targets in USA. While US airforce had strategic bombers placed on airbases all around USSR. The Soviet air force did not have any planes, which were capable of reaching US targets and returning.
In 1955 first the USA and later the Soviet announced their plans to launch a satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year. In
USA started on the ill-fated vanguard project.
In USSR a scientific team started to work on a 1,0- 1,4 ton satellite packed with all kind of scientific equipment. While the R-7 missile was ready for testing, the development of the large satellite (later known as sputnik 3) was far behind schedule – and in the end Korolev decided that the rocket team should design their own smaller satellite (sputnik 1).
Today satellites is a major part of your life – for example broadcast of television, making reliable weather forecasts and GPS. At same time we have been to the moon and a working together at the ISS. The sputnik started it all.
Rocket and space corporation Energia - The legacy of S. P. Korolev.
Model of R-7 launcher here: