Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUH, volume 1)


Ten years ago, on October 4, 1957, Sputnik-I was launched into an orbit around the Earth by the U.S.S.R. It was the first man-made object in space. The U.S.A. launched its first satellite, Explorer-I, on January 31, 1958. The first space probe, Lunik-I, was launched on January 2, 1959, into solar orbit and became the first artificial planet. The satellites initiated the intensive development of a new region of astronomy: space astronomy. During these 10 years, our television eyes have been on the Moon and near Mars. At the present time, we know the conditions in space between the orbits of Venus and Mars. More than 100 satellites operate in space, thus yielding rich information about the phenomena in the region near the Earth and in the interplanetary medium. There are now two space stations in flight to Venus, and Lunar Orbiter-5 photographs the Moon’s surface.

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© I.A.U. 1968

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