October 4, 1957
The Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik — the world’s first artificial satellite — in October 1957 kicked off a decades-long ‘space race’ between the Soviets and the United States. The small silver orb with its trailing antennae also signaled back to Earth with its characteristic ‘beep, beep’, heard around the world on simple transistor radios. With Sputnik’s launch, people soon came to realize that humans might soon leave the confines of Earth’s atmosphere.
As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of this event, this site presents the history of Sputnik, documents surrounding its launch and the world response, audio and visual materials, the personal memories of visitors, and links to other commemorations and events around the world.