The first artificial Earth satellite

The first artificial Earth satellite

The first artificial Earth satellite is onefrom the greatest achievements of science of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, paradoxically, this great scientific and technical achievement was to a great extent contributed to the cold war between the two superpowers: the US and the Soviet Union. The launch of the first artificial earth satellite was also necessary for the evolving need to obtain reliable information about the upper layers of the atmosphere, the possibility of transmitting a radio signal from orbit, and so on.

In the early 1950s, both the US and the USSR activelyDeveloped missiles for the space program. In particular, in May 1954, the chief designer of the space program of the Soviet Union, Sergei Korolyov, met with USSR Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov and reported that the first artificial Earth satellite could be launched into orbit. A similar statement was made on July 29, 1955 by the President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower, while he indicated the dates between 1957 and 1958.

In the first days of August 1955, the Politburo of the Central CommitteeThe CPSU approved the creation of the first Earth satellite. This project was headed by Korolyov, as well as Vasily Ryabikov, who supervised the test launches of the R-7 missile. For launch, the simplest first Earth satellite was developed with two beacons on board.

Satellite number 1 was a 585-millimetera sphere covered with a thermal screen consisting of aluminum, magnesium and titanium. It was equipped with four long antennas, which were able to transmit simple sound signals to the surface of the Earth in two frequencies. The first artificial Earth satellite was also equipped with three silver-zinc batteries that could work for two weeks. The temperature control system consisted of a radiator with a fan, a sealed circuit, a forced heat exchange system designed to maintain a stable internal temperature. This system used bimetallic thermal relays as a sensitive element. Whenever the temperature rose above 36 ° C, a fan was turned on, and nitrogen circulated through the heat transfer system from the hemispheres. When the temperature dropped below 20 ° C, the fan was turned off.

Sputnik-1 was launched on October 4, 1957of the year. After 295.4 seconds after the launch, the first artificial Earth satellite was put into orbit. It was only the third successful flight of the R-7 missile, which was created for an intercontinental flight with a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb. The satellite developed the first space velocity calculated by Newton. It was 7780 m / s. He made a complete turn in 96.2 minutes. Despite the fact that it was developed in just two weeks, the mission lasted 22 days, until the batteries accumulated. Radio amateurs from all over the world followed the sound signals transmitted by the satellite. It could be observed - as a star of the first magnitude - even with the naked eye. The satellite came down from orbit and burnt in the atmosphere on January 4, 1958.

The American public and the mass mediaThe information was so surprised by the technological breakthrough of the USSR that a wave of paranoia swept across the US. The political and public reaction to the publication of the TASS report was unexpected for the USSR. Thus, replacing a small satellite with a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb, the Soviet Union scored a significant political and social victory.

The satellite crisis led to the creation in the US of Advanced Research Projects Agency and NASA, as well as a significant increase in government spending on the education system and the conduct of scientific research.

The US was able to launch its first artificialthe Explorer-1 satellite on January 31, 1958. It was a cylindrical spacecraft with a diameter of 15 cm and a length of 203 cm with a mass of 14 kg. He transmitted data on the measurement of cosmic rays and the level of radiation for 112 days. These data led to the discovery of Van Allen's belt.

Since 1957, about 7,000 satellites have been launched into the Earth's orbit, most of which are already out of order and represent a real obstacle to the further development of outer space.

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