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Back in the Day: Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth

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Back in the Day: Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth

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On October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth’s orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union. Millions of people listened to the satellite’s signals on the radio. The unexpected announcement of Sputnik 1’s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space Race within the context of the Cold War. It also marked the start of the Space Age.

Also on October 4: the creation of the state of Belgium after separation from The Netherlands (1830); the Crimean War – The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia (1853); the first run of the Orient-Express (1883); the Fifth Republic of France is established (1958); and the Battle of Mogadishu, in Somalia, took place (1993).

Born on October 4 : Buster Keaton (1895); Charlton Heston (1924); Anne Rice (1941); and Jon Secada (1962).