Archive | October 4, 1957: Soviets launch Sputnik 1

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The Soviets launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957.

65 years ago, the Soviet Union stunned the world by sending the first artificial satellite into space. The launch of Sputnik 1 was a decisive milestone in the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States for the conquest of space.

On October 4, 1957, the USSR launched with success of the first artificial satellite in orbit around the Earth.

Animation of the Sputnik 1 mission commented by the host Jean-Paul Nolet

The show Camera 57, in its review of the year of December 31 1957, presents an animation of this launch described by the animator Jean-Paul Nolet.

In the light of the animator's comments, we understand that the Soviet Union has just made a feat.

This is a feat all the more astounding since Moscow had until then kept the construction of the Sputnik 1 satellite secret.

What's more, this artificial satellite was only element among others in the desire to improve the Soviet ballistic program.

On the night of November 2 to 3, 1957, the USSR repeated this feat by sending the Sputnik 2 satellite in space with the dog Laika on board.

The news of this Soviet success fascinated and frightened the international community.

The launch of Sputnik is experienced as a real trauma by the United States.

The New York Times even compares this event to a technological Pearl Harbor.< /p>

The existence of Sputnik constitutes a decisive milestone in the rivalry for the conquest of space between the Soviets and the Americans.

It also fuels the cold war between Moscow, Washington and their respective allies.

This fascination and fear that Sputnik provokes is also felt in Canada.

Journalist Jeanne Sauvé interviews scientists Jacques Labrecque and Scott James on the experiments carried out with Sputnik 1 and the consequences of the existence of the satellite.

On November 22, 1957, the broadcast Crossroads presents an interview with journalist Jeanne Sauvé with scientists Jacques Labrecque and Scott James.

It discusses in particular the various experiments carried out using Soviet satellites.

Jeanne Sauvé also questions her guests on the impact that the existence of Sputnik could have on the relevance of conventional weapons and on the evolution of Canadian national defence.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet space program often surpassed its American competitor.

In fact, it was not until 1969 when the Americans managed to land on the Moon, that the American space program will regain the lead over the Soviet adversary.

American domination in the conquest of space from the end of the 1960s s' partly explained by the decline of the Soviet program.

Journalist Alexandra Szacka describes the decline of the Russian space program.

This is elucidated by the report by journalist Alexandra Szacka presented on Téléjournal on October 5, 2007.

Sébastien Bovet presents this report.

Alexandra Szacka notes that the space program has gradually ceased to be a priority for Moscow.

The facilities where the future cosmonauts are antiquated.

Discouraged, several star scientists of the Soviet space program immigrated to the United States.

There were 10 satellites named Sputnik. The last Sputnik was launched from the Baikonur space center on March 25, 1961.

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