School Project on Sputnik

I am doing a school project on Sputnik. What can you tell me about it? by KC

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Thanks for stopping by! Did your teacher ask you on which Sputnik satellite to gather information? Basic data on the three Sputnik satellites are given below. By the way, Sputnik means "fellow-traveler" in the Russian language.

1. Sputnik I was the first man-made satellite launched from Russia on October 5, 1957, after midnight-Russian time, or October 4th at 5:00 pm Eastern time in the United States. From the nose tip to the bottom, it measured approximately 100 feet, weighing about 100 tons, which included liquid fuel and payload, and was accomplished in 3 stages. Sputnik I became the official first man-made satellite placed into orbit about ten minutes after midnight. On or about December 1, 1957, its shell burned up, and in January of 1958, it broke into 8 pieces. Before its death Sputnik I traveled around 35,000,000 miles.

2. Sputnik II was launched on November 3, 1957 at around 6:30 am Russian time. II carried a passenger, a dog, who was placed inside a sealed, but air-conditioned compartment. The total weight with payload, fuel and passenger was about 7,000 pounds. Its passenger had its respiration, heart beat, and blood pressure monitored with onboard instruments. Unfortunately, 2 weeks after launch, without the help of the Energizer Bunny, its batteries went dead, signals were no longer sent, and the passenger died. After about a trip of 62,500,000 miles in 2,370 round trips, Sputnik II burned up and disintegrated on April 14, 1958.

3. Sputnik III was launched on May 15, 1958. It was a cone-shaped satellite at 11 feet and 9 inches with a weight of 2,925 pounds. This satellite is basically a space laboratory since it carried 2,129 pounds of instruments. These were to measure the strength and weaknesses of the earth's magnetic fields and the magnitude of atomspheric electrical charges. It had a heat-regulating system that protected the instruments against the Sun's heat and the coldness of space; calculating instruments for sorting data that was then relayed back to Earth with radio transmitters that operating on solar batteries and conventional batteries.

Excellent reading material and school report help:

1. Couper, Heather and Nigel Henbest. Space Encyclopedia DK Publishing, Inc.: NY 1999

2. Editors. Secrets of the Universe. International Master Publishing: US. 1999

It may be of interest to let you know that physicist, Dr. David R. Criswell of the University of Houston's Institute for Space Systems Operations is giving his biography to Natural Science at next month. Good luck with your report and stop in again!