# Puzzler: Is this a Sputnik?

I was enjoying the Trailer to the YouTube site Kinematic, and I noticed that the satellite or model shown in the beginning looks different than how I remember the original Sputnik - specifically the location and direction of the antennas. While the satellite is shown, the narration begins:

"Sixty years ago, the Russians beat us into space. We didn't deny Sputnik was up there. We didn't argue about the science..."

Is this a representation of a Sputnik? If not, what is it supposed to be?

"Bonus points" Where is this clip from - is it old "found" footage, perhaps from some 1960's documentary?

above: GIF reconstructed from screen shots from the Kinematic Trailer.

• @OrganicMarble If so, they've gone to some trouble to give the surface of the satellite a distinct pattern and texture, have realistic insulators/feedthroughs for the antennas, lighting and shadows that could come from a 100W light bulb or flood light (shadows show the source of light is extended), and added what appear to be defects in the "film" (scratches, etc.) and variable rotation rate or camera speeds. It looks more like a model built with some care, and then filmed with a 1960's era 8mm home movie camera, or some nice work trying to recreate all of those effects with CGI. – uhoh Jan 7 '17 at 16:55
• @OrganicMarble cheap CGI might look more like this: i.stack.imgur.com/wLNpz.png – uhoh Jan 7 '17 at 17:15
• @RussellBorogove Aw come on, I'm sure it's a model or mock-up, but I think it is old footage, not recent CGI. Anyway my main question is - is this (or was this) supposed to represent some incarnation of a Sputnik satellite? – uhoh Jan 7 '17 at 19:54
• Wow! I found another satellite with the co-planar antennas! Well, it's not CGI, and it's from 1958. Look at 01:59 dailymotion.com/video/x3uysut I received this link here. – uhoh Jan 7 '17 at 20:29
• @uhoh Thanks! But I don't think could provide reasonable enough information for anything more than a comment. It seems more like a vague resemblance anyways if the Wikipedia image is accurate: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/… – Sarah Bailey Apr 21 '17 at 18:30

I am going to venture that what is shown is a model of a Vanguard Project satellite such as Vanguard-2. Roughly 50cm sphere with four antennas protruding in a plane spaced at 90 degrees. The similarity was also pointed out by Sarah Bailey in this comment.

Vanguard was a popular image in the West and there were several models of it available, and there are even some now.

For example see all the cool images in the Scale Model News page for September 8, 2015 Space Technology from Six Decades Ago - 1:5 Scale Hawk Project Vanguard Satellite:

The GIF image in the question for comparison:

• @SarahBailey based on your comment and some more research, I've ventured this as a best guess. – uhoh Oct 6 '17 at 16:00
• @OrganicMarble $5, wow! Great price, does it include shipping? I wonder if the shipping is done by site-to-site reusable rocket perhaps? I noticed a few 50cm spheres on top of the cabinets here: nasa.gov/image-feature/explorer-xvii-satellite and this guy seems to have many more as well: greg.org/archive/2010/03/23/… – uhoh Oct 6 '17 at 16:59 • Some more Vanguard goodies: history.nasa.gov/SP-4202.pdf 44MB PDF. Oh! Is this what you mean? – uhoh Oct 6 '17 at 17:07 • Yes, I downloaded the pdf, and included a page from it in my other answer, but the hardback looked well worth$5. – Organic Marble Oct 6 '17 at 17:24
• @OrganicMarble There is something about physical books that make them so much easier and gratifying to browse and read. Bits of history. Go for it! – uhoh Oct 7 '17 at 1:01

Sputnik is just the Russian word used to describe all satellites. Below is a photo of a model of the 1958 sputnik in the cosmonautics museum in Moscow which is a different configuration than the video shown.

• Yes, but the question is asking about the source and authenticity of the footage included. – Nathan Tuggy Feb 15 '17 at 20:09
• I wonder what comes after "First of all..." did you have some additional points you wanted to make? So far this isn't really an answer, or even a helpful comment. Please try to improve this answer. It may be very helpful to take the stackexchange tour first. – uhoh Feb 16 '17 at 0:13
• @uhoh: as long as it's a satellite, it's a sputnik. Still, it might be, say, a sea mine or something cobbled together from movie props for the intro. – SF. Feb 16 '17 at 4:29