Press Release

NASA Acknowledges Historic Sputnik Flight

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2004
Filed under ,
NASA Acknowledges Historic Sputnik Flight

Forty-seven years ago today, the world changed, when the Soviet
Union successfully launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957.

The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a
basketball, weighed only 183 pounds. It took about 98 minutes to orbit
the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political,
military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik
launch was a single event, it marked the start of space exploration.

On the 47th year anniversary of Sputnik, members of the Russian Federal
Space Agency (Roskosmos) and NASA met at the 55th International
Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Vancouver, British Columbia. NASA
Administrator Sean O’Keefe and Roskosmos Head Anatolii Perminov
participated in multilateral IAC plenary sessions. They also held a
bilateral meeting to discuss the range of cooperative space activities
between NASA and Roskosmos.

O’Keefe took the opportunity to offer his congratulations to Roskosmos
on the 47th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. He also offered his
personal congratulations to Perminov on the recent announcement by
Russian President Putin he had been granted the award “For Services to
the Fatherland.”

During the meeting both leaders recognized the outstanding support of
all of the International Space Station partners in operating the
Station during the temporary hiatus in Space Shuttle
flights. Administrator O’Keefe once again made particular note of the
critical support provided by Roskosmos since the Space Shuttle Columbia
accident. The two leaders discussed potential cooperation within the
framework of the Vision for Space Exploration.

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SpaceRef staff editor.