Abstract

The world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched at four minutes to midnight (local time) on 4 October 1957 from a recently completed rocket testing facility in the desert east of the Aral Sea, near the town of Tyuratam in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.1 In Moscow the time was 10.26 p.m., in London 7.26 p.m. In the eastern time zone of the United States it was the middle of the afternoon on the last but one day of an international scientific conference which had assembled to discuss the uses of rockets and artificial satellites within a programme for investigating physical properties and processes of the Earth as a complete planet, the International Geophysical Year or IGY, which had been running since 1 July 1957.

Keywords

Explosive Geophysical Science Stake Furnas 

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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    This is the time currently accepted by Western experts: D. G. King-Hele, J. A. Pilkington, D. M. C. Walker, H. Hiller and A. N. Winterbottom, The RAE Table of Earth Satellites 1957–82 2nd edn (London: Macmillan, 1983), p. 1. It also agrees with the best anecdotal evidence about the launch from Russian sources. Earlier estimates put the launch time slightly later: ibid. , p. ii; or earlier:Google Scholar
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© Rip Bulkeley 1991

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  • Rip Bulkeley

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