Home » Articole » EN » Business » Communications » Satellites » History of Artificial Satellites

History of Artificial Satellites

Sputnik 1: The first artificial satellite

In May, 1946, the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship stated, “A satellite vehicle with appropriate instrumentation can be expected to be one of the most potent scientific tools of the Twentieth Century. The achievement of a satellite craft would produce repercussions comparable to the explosion of the atomic bomb…”.

The space age began in 1946, as scientists began using captured German V-2 rockets to make measurements in the upper atmosphere. Before this period, scientists could use balloons up to 30 km and radio waves to study the ionosphere, rockets changed that. From 1946 to 1952, upper-atmosphere research was conducted using V-2s and Aerobee rockets. This allowed measurements of atmospheric pressure, density, and temperature up to 200 km.

The US had been considering launching orbital satellites since 1945 under the Bureau of Aeronautics of the United States Navy. The Air Force’s Project RAND eventually released the above report, but did not believe that the satellite was a potential military weapon, rather they considered it to be a tool for science, politics, and propaganda. In 1954, the Secretary of Defense stated, “I know of no American satellite program.”

Following, pressure by the American Rocket Society, the National Science Foundation, and the International Geophysical Year; military interest picked up and in early 1955 the Air Force and Navy were working on Project Orbiter, which involved using a Jupiter C rocket to launch a small satellite called Explorer 1 on January 31st 1958.

On July 29, 1955, the White House announced that the US intended to launch satellites by the spring of 1958. This became known as Project Vanguard. On July 31, the Soviets announced that they intended to launch a satellite by the fall of 1957 and on October 4, 1957 Sputnik I was launched into orbit.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *