Today, the world marks the beginning of the space age. Exactly 55 years ago with the Baikonur rocket R-7 with the first artificial earth satellite on board. Preparations for the launch was conducted in a very short time. Sergei Korolev even moved the start date for a couple of days early to get ahead of the U.S. with a guarantee.
— Duty firefighter teams ready to take the number one. Ignition. Preliminary. The main thing. Recovery.
1957. Moscow is hosting the International Festival of Youth and Students, Khrushchev's attempt to shift from the post of general secretary, and John Lennon met Paul McCartney. The Soviet Union began the space age the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite.
"Pass the important message TASS. 4 October 1957 in the Soviet Union successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite of the Earth" — these words were greeted by the audience then a young broadcaster Radio and Television Igor Kirillov.
It was the first victory in the confrontation between the two space powers. It began in 1955, when U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said: "After 2 years, the United States launched the first artificial moon." So the Americans called their companion. Message from the ocean perceived as a challenge. The answer came at once: immediately approved a special commission for the development of the Soviet Sputnik program.
"Revenue is information that there overseas also do not sleep, that there is something, too, want. And, too, want to be first, because everybody understands the priority of this event," — says Oleg Ivanovsky, the designer of the first artificial Earth satellite.
At the time, began testing the legendary R-7 rocket Sergei Korolev, and instead of the satellite could launch a hydrogen bomb. However, two missiles deadly charge is not found, and the chief designer has permission to use rockets for peaceful purposes.
"We had to think about how to use the rocket to perfection. Not only as a carrier of the destructive payloads, but also use it to somehow fulfill the dream of interplanetary travel," — says Boris Chertok, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The unit of PS-1 — first the simplest satellite weighed only 84 kilograms. The start was scheduled for October 6. But the king suddenly shifts the time. There are reports that the Americans launch a satellite in the same October 6.
"And the king gave instructions to reduce the training. Went to a technical risk, unconditional, and launched on October 4. Such was the severity, the day came — who will launch the first satellite," — says Georgy Grechko, Soviet cosmonaut, twice Hero of the Soviet Union .
At 315 seconds after the rocket launch was a satellite office, and he brought his voice.
The reaction of the world community has been tumultuous. A simple form of the satellite — the ball and four antennas — became a symbol of the era, and the Russian word "satellite" has since entered into many languages. In Western Europe there were bars cocktails "Satellite", a kind of dance halls of rock 'n' roll — it's "Satellite". A hairdressers even invented new model hairstyles.
The first satellite in orbit lasted 92 days. When, in early January 1958, he was burning up in the upper atmosphere, in orbit have already flown the second Soviet apparatus. Thus began the space age.