The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the world's first artificial satellite, ushering in the "Space Age." A month later, Sputnik II sent a dog into space, making it the first live animal to do so. On October 4, the United States launches its own satellite, Explorer 1.
On this date in 1957, the United States Senate passes the Satellite Communications Act, which authorizes the Department of Defense to fund research projects that help our military communicate via satellite.
The act also grants $10 million over two years to assist in developing communication systems for use within the United States and its territories. The funding is provided through the National Security Agency (NSA).
In addition to authorizing NSA to spend money on communications satellites, the act states that the agency "may not engage in such activity solely for commercial purposes." This prevents government agencies from using funds from the NSA to develop technology they can then sell to other countries.
The act is signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on December 4, 1957.
A year after the act was passed, the United States Army launches the very first Earth-orbiting satellite, known as Vanguard. It is a small device designed to study the properties of the earth's atmosphere and magnetism from outside the planet.
Technology. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. Sputnik 2 is launched by the Soviet Union. Laika, the first animal to enter space, is aboard. She is a Russian-born canine who has been designated a hero of the Soviet Union.
Why does this event matter today? Science has confirmed what many have believed for centuries: That Earth is not the only planet with life. In fact, there are hundreds of billions of planets outside our solar system. Many scientists believe that some of these planets may be capable of supporting life as we know it. This idea has led many to ask: What if aliens were to arrive on Earth? Would they want to live here?
The concept of aliens arriving on Earth is nothing new. Authors from all over the world have imagined different scenarios regarding this subject. Some think that aliens would come in peace, while others think they would come with evil intentions. No matter how you look at it, this topic is extremely interesting and has fascinated people for years. As far as science is concerned, however... Well, there's really no proof that anything other than Earth life exists. We simply don't know because we have never tried to find out.
Sputnik-1, the world's first artificial satellite, was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. The successful launch surprised academics and residents in the United States, who had believed that the United States would be the first to achieve this technological breakthrough.
American researchers had already achieved success in creating satellites before Sputnik-1, but these predecessors were not intended to be functioning spacecraft. The Russians took their concept further by adding electrical power to their satellite, which allowed it to transmit radio signals back to Earth during its four-week lifespan.
The Sputnik-1 satellite was smaller than many modern smartphones today. It consisted of an aluminum shell with a mass of 1,425 pounds (655 kg), containing about 80 batteries and two radio transistors. The satellite had been designed by Dr. Ivan Pavlović and his team at the State Research Institute of Radio Technology (NIIR). It had been built under the supervision of Vladimir Kovalyonok at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI).
Sputnik-1 was successfully deployed into orbit around the Earth by a rocket engine called N1. The launch took place at 11:00 AM MST on October 4, 1957 from Site 2/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Explorer 1, the United States' first successful satellite, was launched on January 31, 1958. It was America's response to the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, which inaugurated the Space Age in 1957. The satellite carried a radio transmitter that sent signals back to Earth during its three-month lifespan.
Here are some other significant events that occurred on January 31st:
1858: Alexander Bell files a patent for the telephone.
1908: The first transatlantic telephone cable is installed between England and America.
1958: Explorer 1 launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1974: The last remaining captive pygmy hippopotamus, named Henry (or "Hank") the Hippo, dies at London Zoo.
1980: The New York City subway system opens its first underground station, South Ferry.
1998: The last passenger train leaves Centralia, Washington, becoming the world's first fully decommissioned railroad town. No one lives in Centralia anymore - the only people who visit often are those interested in the history of coal mining.
2008: A magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes Southern California, killing two people and injuring 33 others.
The United States launches its first satellite, Explorer I, and NASA is founded. Vice President Richard Nixon's goodwill visit of South America causes riots and open demonstrations. The United Arab Republic is made up of Egypt and Sudan. Marines from the United States arrive in Lebanon to assist the government. The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial earth satellite.
1958 was a significant year in world history. It was the year that NASA was founded, which has become one of the most important agencies of the U.S. federal government. In addition, United States forces invaded Cuba, causing a major crisis with Russia that ended when Russia agreed to withdraw its troops from Cuba. The Soviet Union also launched Sputnik 2, another earth satellite. The Cold War continues to this day.
These events caused many people to ask themselves questions about human existence and our place in the universe. The concept of space exploration was not new, but it received much attention after the successes of the Russian spacecrafts. People wanted to know more about other worlds outside of Earth!
NASA was created on October 1, 1958 by Congress as an agency of the Department of Aeronautics and Space. Since its creation, NASA has sent humans to the Moon 10 times, and plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030's.