The story of Sputnik


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On this, the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik, the first human-made satellite, Anatoly Zak has posted a detailed history of that launch, written from a Russian perspective.

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  • My Dad co-wrote the 1955 proposal for what became Project Vanguard. His colleague, Marty Votaw, recalled that on October 2nd, 1957 a memo went out that there would be no more paid overtime. Sputnik launched two days later and the memo became obsolete as they tried to get a Vanguard satellite into orbit. After two failures, they launched the first solar powered satellite on March 17th, 1958.

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