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Q. Why is Sputnik considered a major turning point in history? — Clay P., Jason R. and William J.
A. Sputnik was an important milestone in human history because satellites have become an influential part of daily life.

They are used around the world for broadcasting and communications, weather forecasting, navigation, observing land, sea and air, scientific research, military reconnaissance and numerous other purposes. In addition, hundreds of men and women have lived and worked aboard space shuttles and space stations, which are manned satellites in Earth orbit.

The USSR's Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite
SPUTNIK WAS A 183-LB. BASKETBALL-SIZE SATELLITE WHICH LOOPED AROUND EARTH EVERY 98 MINUTES.
The launch of Sputnik led to new political, military, technological and scientific developments. Even though the launch was only one event, it marked the start of what came to be known as the Space Age and blasted off the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.

We refer to a spacefaring nation as a country with a rocket powerful enough for space launches. Spacefaring nations are those which launch their own satellites to orbit.

The majority of satellites have been built by Russia and the United States, but the countries of Western Europe in the European Space Agency, as well as Japan, China, India, Canada, Israel, Brazil and others have been actively engaged in satellite development.

In chronological order, the first countries to loft their artificial moons to orbit above Earth were:
  1. USSR
  2. USA
  3. France
  4. Japan
  5. China
  6. Great Britain
  7. Europe
  8. India
  9. Israel
  10. Iran
  11. North Korea
NASA: Sputnik and The Dawn of the Space Age  »»



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