Sputnik 1957 – Memories of an Old Timer
E. Stuhlinger (1999), JBIS, 52, 235-238
While American plans for a small satellite, to be launched as an IGY project, met with some rough sailing, Russian plans for a larger satellite proceeded more rapidly under the hands of Sergei Korolev, the Russian counterpart to America’s Wernher von Braun. Held up because scientific instruments were not ready, Korolev quickly built a smaller satellite and launched it as Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, followed by Sputnik 2 in November, and by America’s Explorer 1 in January 1958. Russia’s success with Sputnik 1 set off an unprecedented surge of interest and activity in space technology and space sciences worldwide.