This Week In History: Wk 40 (4 October 1957)
First Satellite Launched Into Space
The USSR launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
In 1957, the world was surprised to see the Soviets launch the first satellite into orbit, with most expecting the USA to be the first to do so. The satellite, named Sputnik 1, transmitted a simple radio signal back to earth for 21 days and remained in orbit for a further 6 months. The USA responded to this great technological achievement by making the conquest of space a top national priority. This marked the beginning of the "space race".
satellite (noun): an object that orbits or goes around a planet or moon in space
USSR (noun): former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union), dissolved in 1991
launch (verb): start; set off; propel into space
orbit (noun): circular path of one object around another object in space
conquest (noun): the winning or achievement of something
priority (noun): a thing regarded as more important than other things
Researched and written for EnglishClub by Matt Errey