The Beginning of Space TravelSutnik and Explorer 1

The beginning of space flight started with the Russian launch of sputnik, the first man made satellite, on October 4, 1957. The launch of sputnik caused a shock to the other countries of the world, particularly America which had been starting its own military program. Sputnik was much larger than the proposed payload of the American satellite. Sputnik also caused much fear in the US due to the idea that if the Russians could launch asatellite they could launch a nuke from Europe to America.

Russia further startled the world by launching Sputnik 2, which contained an even heavier payload and a dog named Laika. In response to the public outcry, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which founded NASA. America also launched Explorer 1 which had a light payload of scientific equipment, the scientific equipment discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the earth. America continued to launch ships with scientific equipment and started many other programs.