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Friday, October 5, 2007

Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Sputnik Program

The Sputnik program was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 to examine the viability of artificial satellites for exploring the upper atmosphere as part of the International Geophysical Year. It was a series of unmanned space missions .It included Sputnik 1, the first man-made object to orbit earth. The satellite was 58 cm (about 23 inches) in diameter and weighed approximately 83.6 kg (about 183 lb). Each of its elliptical orbits around the Earth took about 96 minutes. Ceremonies were held at Russia's cosmonaut training centre, Star City, outside Moscow and engineers were to gather at the Academy of Sciences to recall the events leading up to the October 4 1957 launch of the spiky, 183lb metal ball that beeped as it circled the globe for some 22 days.

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