On This Day: The Launch of Sputnik

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first man-made satellite, into low Earth orbit. Sputnik's launch caused fear of the Soviets using new rocket technology for military purposes and caught the United States off guard. In response, the United States increased their efforts and resources to catch up to the Soviets. These efforts led to the Apollo missions that eventually landed men on the moon in 1969. The Sputnik launch precipitated American focus and innovations in science and technology and triggered the Space Race.

The Impact of Sputnik

Carl Cannon talked about the significance of Sputnik. Footage from an early news broadcast from 1957 is shown.