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The space race and Sputnik

The Story

To the ear, it sounds like just a random series of high-pitched beeps but to scientists and politicians everywhere, it bears much greater importance. It's the sound of the Soviet satellite Sputnik, the first orbital spacecraft, transmitting signals to earth. For months, Soviet and American scientists have been vying to be the first to break the gravitational barrier with a successful launch into outer space. Now, the race to launch even more sophisticated spacecraft begins.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 4, 1957
Reporter: James Minifie, Lamont Tilden
Duration: 6:16

Did You know?

. Sputnik 1, the world's first orbital spacecraft, circled the world for three months.
. Sputnik also confirmed rumours that the Soviet Union had intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could be launched in the same way as the spacecraft.
. Sputnik 2, launched Nov. 3, 1957, carried a part-Samoyed terrier named Laika. The first known living organism in space, Laika is believed to have survived a day or two, but the spacecraft was in orbit 162 days.


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