One small ball in the air. I wouldn’t believe that at this moment you have to fear the intelligence aspects of this.
— President Eisenhower, 9 October 1957
Sputnik 1 was the first satellite ever launched into space. It was launched Oct. 4th 1957 into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the former USSR or what is now Russia. Roughly translated, Sputnik 1 means Elementary Satellite. Transmitting on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz signals monitored by amateur radio operators around the world for 21 days, this 4 pronged iconic spherical satellite’s batteries ran out and 3 months later, on Jan. 4 1958, it finally hurdled at tremendous speeds back to Earth as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere burning up entirely. If only the cold war had only so much time to gather momentum as this pioneer had to gather as much valuable atmospheric information within it’s brief but momentous journey.