In Pictures: Sputnik 1 - 50 years on

  • Things have changed drastically in the 50 years since Sputnik 1. Now, instead of a cold war we have an International Space Station.

  • Sputnik 1 launched the space race, frightening the US into competition with the Soviet Union.

  • Sputnik 1
    The word "Sputnik" is Russian for "traveling companion."
  • It's impossible to say just how significant Sputnik's launch was. Without it we might not have the internet and many of the most significant things to have come out of Silicon Valley

  • In 50 shorts years space technology has moved from a small metal ball to a multibillion dollar commercial industry.

  • Although Sputnik fell from orbit just three months after launch, it marked the beginning of the Space Age

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