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On this day in history…

January 4, 1958 – The Soviet satellite Sputknik I fell to the earth from its orbit.

The craft had been launched three months previously, on October 4, 1957.  The world’s first artificial Earth satellite was a major technical and political achievement by the Soviet Union.

Sputnik I Launch on old Number 7 - 1957 Novotsi

Sputnik I

Sputnik I - Object PS-1 Disassembled

A replica of Sputnik 1 at the US National Air and Space Museum

Block V-142 Gyrohorizon - internal component

Sputnik I - exploded view

Sputnik I - the finished satellite

Launch of Sputnik I

MarkaSputnik-1 - 30k USSR postage stamp depicting Sputnik 1

Soviet 40k stamp showing satellite's orbit

Sputnik Signal Measured from Soviet Antarctic Base

Sputnik I Arming Key-the last remaining piece of the satellite

More information concerning the Sputnik satellites can be found at –

(Author’s note – As best as I can ascertain, all of the above images are now in the public domain, or cannot be copyrighted (images taken by personnel of the United States armed services or NASA), or are not objects of copyright, pursuant to policies of the Russian Federation.  Thank you.  vmls)