Sputnik: The First Satellite

Sputnik which means “traveling companion” in Russian, was launched in 1957 and was the first satellite in space. Today, there are over 1200 satellites orbiting the earth, 50% of which are owned by the United States. Sputnik was first observed by the American’s on October 4, 1957 and because of this, 1 year and 1 week later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formed. The U.S. was acutely aware of the consequences which would follow if they were to allow the Russians, and therefore the ideology of communism, to win the Space Race during the Cold War. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was initially set up with a large budget which at its peak reached 4.41% of the U.S. federal total budget. Today that value is approximately 0.5% of the total U.S. federal budget

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