On October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 was launched in the former Soviet Union, in Kazakhstan, near the town of Leninsk.
This represented the first successful space launch.
Sputnik 1 was little more than a radio transmitter, but its 90-minute orbit of the Earth ushered in the space age.
Apart from being a technological first, Sputnik also helped to identify the upper atmospheric layer’s density, and provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere.
Sputnik 1 burned up on 4 January 1958, when it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, after travelling about 60 million km, or 37 million miles, and spending 3 months in orbit around earth.