I've been researching the launch of sputnik 1, it is often renowned as the event that started the space age though I cannot find any confirmed videos of the launch or even a countdown/audio recording from the launch, I know that during the space race, the Soviet Union kept a lot of their advancements classified, though is anything of that sort available to the public now? If so where can I find it?

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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because space exploration is off-topic here, but on-topic on Space Exploration $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jul 6 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel so reopen the question and migrate it there, to Space Exploration $\endgroup$
    – ayr
    Commented Jul 7 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel I was unaware that there was a space exploration forum on stack exchange, no need to re-route it there, I got my answer $\endgroup$
    – ArchiveOfStars
    Commented Jul 7 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ @ArchiveOfStars it's not un-common for off-topic questions to be migrated to a site where they are on-topic. Stack Exchange answers are for the benefit of future readers as well as the question authors; moving them to the right sight helps them to be more easily found in the future. There are almost 200 SE sites and many active users of Astronomy SE or Space SE and up joining and participating in the other one as well. You may also find History of Science and Math SE helpful as well. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 8 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ You used the term video which normally implies television, or at least it did prior to the elimination of film in nearly all motion picture cameras. I am not aware of the Soviets televising early rocket launches, unlike U.S. launches which were sometimes televised. I realize that you probably are accepting both video and film as an answer, however if only film cameras were used to record the launch of Sputnik 1 then it is less likely that any audio of the launch exists, at least as far as the rocket itself, although perhaps there may be some available audio of the launch engineers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


In general, enter “sputnik 1 launch” and “sputnik 1 sound” into YouTube. A lot of materials.

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    $\begingroup$ Documentaries quite often add sound effects when all that is available is film footage. The details on this particular YouTube video don't say much other than it is a Russian language film of the launch. However the music at the beginning along with having a narrator indicates that this is a Russian documentary. So no real way to know if the audio in the clip is from the actual Sputnik 1 launch or just generic launch audio that was added for the documentary. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ @StevePemberton i did translate this video, it appears to be from a soviet news broadcast after the launch, translates to: "And in the country that, under the leadership of the Communist Party, has achieved the greatest progress, it has succeeded in launching a satellite into orbit, penetrating beyond the Earth's atmosphere for the first time. On Thursday, the whole world was astonished by the successes of Soviet science and technology. Our rocket reached an unprecedented speed of about 8000 meters per second." $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ @ArchiveOfStars - Interesting, if the broadcast was made within a few days of the launch then it probably increases the chances that the audio was from the Sputnik launch. But still not 100% conclusive, as it would have required matching up a separate sound recording with the film. Certainly no technical problem doing that, but then that retains the possibility that a different launch audio was used. A live TV broadcast would be more conclusive. Also October 4th, 1957 was a Friday, so you might double check that part of the translation. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 9 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ @StevePemberton Not necessarily. It could have been "fourth of October 1957" (in Russian, you say the day before the month), so the broadcast could have been from some later year. $\endgroup$
    – Litho
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ @ArchiveOfStars - The local launch time is surprisingly hard to pin down. The closest I could find was on a NASA website which said only that it was “near midnight local time”. While all of Kazakhstan is now UTC +5, that is only as of this past March when eastern Kazakhstan changed from UTC +6 to UTC +5. And farther back western Kazakhstan was UTC +4, as shown in this 1957 National Geographic Map. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11 at 2:05

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