posted in technology
from sputnik posted in technology by pete_nice
On October 4, 1957, the USSR kicked off the space race with the launch of the first satellite, the adorable Sputnik (aptly, Russian for "satellite").
The People's sphere was 22 inches (56 cm) in diameter, weighed 184 pounds (83 kg), and circled the Earth once every 96 minutes at 18,000 mph (29,000 kph). This little ball of Soviet sunshine transmitted a radio signal as its orbit fluctuated between 143 and 584 miles (230-940 km) above the earth. It continued to do so until its orbit degraded and burnt up in the proletariat flames of the atmosphere in January of 1958.
Located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, this facility was known as the Tyuratam launch base in the 50s (named after the nearby rail station). These days, the facility is rented from the Kazakhstan government by the Russians and is known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
All manned Russian spaceflights are currently launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.