74 votes
Accepted

What "fuel more powerful than anything the West (had) in stock" put Laika in orbit aboard Sputnik 2?

Laika's magical mystery propellant was kerosene and LOX. Sputnik 2 was launched on the 8K71PS launcher. This was a modified R-7 ICBM, and like all the R-7 derived launchers, its RD-107 and RD-108 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
46 votes

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Shot answer: Was Sputnik-1 "only for beep" - no, it wasn't :) It was technical test of R-7 as space launcher and test of spacecraft in orbit (athough very simple spacecraft). Also scientists ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,071
34 votes

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

I don't know what the USSR was trying to do with it, but I know what the US Navy did with it. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab used the Doppler shift on the 20 MHz ...
Ryan C's user avatar
  • 7,942
28 votes

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Sputnik 1 was pressurized with nitrogen at 1.3atm. The period of the beeping was tied to a pressure sensor. The logic was being that if anything (such as a micrometeoroid) penetrated the satellite, ...
Nathan's user avatar
  • 281
25 votes

Why were the Sputniks launched to such high apogee?

The important number here is the perigee, not the apogee. In order to make this amount of orbits, you need to have a certain height of perigee in the order of 200 to 300 km. A circular orbit of 250 x ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
22 votes
Accepted

Did Sputnik 1 have attitude control?

Sputnik-1, and Sputnik-2, had no attitude control whatsoever, and would have tumbled freely. "[Like] its predecessor, Sputnik-2 would have no attitude control system." http://www.russianspaceweb.com/...
Justin Eiler's user avatar
17 votes

Did Sputnik 1 have attitude control?

No, Sputnik did not have any such system. It would have added complexity and power requirements. The Soviets were trying to beat the Americans in to space, and succeeded by the launch of Sputnik, but ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
17 votes

Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

I think @PearsonArtPhoto 's answer misses several major points. From http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/link-suggestion/wpcd_2008-09_augmented/wp/s/Sputnik_1.htm The satellite carried two antennas ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
15 votes
Accepted

Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

Sputnik was the first satellite. It was set up before we had an understanding of how difficult it would be to maintain a satellite's position, and in fact was a very simple system overall. The 4 ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
11 votes
Accepted

Sputnik, Van Allen belts

Sputnik had just one single job: Prove its existence by sending a simple "beep" regularly (about 2-3 times a second, afaik). It was a single radio signal. There was no problem with radiation,...
CallMeTom's user avatar
  • 3,298
11 votes
Accepted

What was the first Soviet spacecraft that could recharge its battery it each orbit? Where were the photovoltaic cells made?

Looks like the first Soviet satellite with solar power capability was Sputnik 3, launched on the 15th May 1958, losing out to Vanguard 1 which was the first satellite with solar power launched only ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
9 votes

Sputnik, Van Allen belts

Sputnik-1 had initial orbit with 950 km apogee an 220 km perigee. It was planned to have 1450 km apogee but the rocket underperformed slightly. 950 km is far from most intensive radiation belts. Also, ...
Heopps's user avatar
  • 9,071
8 votes

What was the cause of the cooling system issue in Sputnik 2?

After reaching orbit the nose cone was jettisoned successfully but the Blok A core did not separate as planned. This inhibited the operation of the thermal control system. Additionally some of the ...
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 6,936
8 votes
Accepted

Why did Sputnik-1 transmit on both 20 and 40 MHz?

Russian version of Sputnik-1 Wikipedia article has the section labeled "Sounds of Sputnik" and cites the respective technical report regarding development of the Sputnik's "radio device&...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Where are remains of laika?

As @Uhoh answered in comments: * The Wikipedia article about Laika says: "Over five months later, after 2,570 orbits, Sputnik 2—including Laika's remains—disintegrated during re-entry on 14 April ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
  • 13.6k
7 votes

How did Russian Scientist analyse the data from Sputnik 1?

You have to remember that technology was much less advanced at the time of Sputnik 1. It’s ability to downlink information was tiny, and the science was organized around that: The ball was ...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.7k
7 votes

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Both internal pressure and temperature of Sputnik 1 were encoded in the radio signal. Analysis of the radio signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere. If the ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
6 votes

Could Laika have survived the Van Allen radiation during the intended duration of her mission?

Humans have passed through the Van Allen belts and lived, but you know that. The outer belts are the highest radiation ones, and those are out beyond the ~1600km maximum of the Sputnik 2 orbit. ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What did Sputnik-1 sound like? Did it use multiple tones?

It appears to just be a carrier signal alternately transmitted and not transmitted. As the carrier is in the MHz range, the audio cannot be a direct mapping of that frequency. I don't know the ...
BowlOfRed's user avatar
  • 6,882
5 votes

Why were the Sputniks launched to such high apogee?

Elliptical orbit for Sputniks was chosen because it was easier to achieve, i.e a single burn was reqiured instead of utilising the need for the second burn for the orbit circularization. Note (as also ...
Sergiy Lenzion's user avatar
5 votes

How did Sputnik 1's antennas couple to its body, electrically and mechanically?

Sputnik 1 was filled with nitrogen to detect damages by micrometeroites causing a leak and a pressure loss. Therefore electrical vacuum feedthroughs were needed to connect the antennas to the ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
4 votes

Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

After the fact, yes, Sputnik 1 had some scientific value. But all it did was beep. That is a fact. It had no scientific payloads. No matter how much one sugarcoats the after the fact scientific ...
4 votes
Accepted

How long was Sputnik 1's second stage rocket body in orbit? Are there TLEs for it?

Wikipedia indicates it lasted about two months: The core stage of the R-7 remained in orbit for two months until 2 December 1957, while Sputnik 1 orbited for three months, until 4 January 1958, ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
4 votes

Are there any events planned to celebrate Sputnik's 60th anniversary today?

There were a few things that were done, namely: A number of news articles. Events at planetariums Events at the Smithsonian/ other museums I'm sure there were other events too, but I can't find ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
4 votes
Accepted

What scientific and technological advances were prompted directly by Sputnik 1?

First off, Sputnik 1 was when space travel went from being "just a theory" to being an actual thing. The difference is huge, do you not see a lot of theories about future technologies here and there? ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
4 votes

What did Sputnik-1 sound like? Did it use multiple tones?

The short answer to this question is that. No, it did not transmit audio beeps to radios. Sputnik 1 had a transmitter that would alternately turn off and on by a circuit called “the Manipulator”. It ...
Aaron Carrillo's user avatar
3 votes

Why did Sputnik-1 transmit on both 20 and 40 MHz?

The following is (now apparently disproven) speculation based on some very basic radio theory rather than any particular knowledge of Sputnik 1. It should be disregarded if someone with knowledge of ...
Kevin Reid's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Sputnik I and Gagarin's space flight

One main difference between the Soviet and US space programs during the space race was the Soviet program was very secretive, with publicity after the fact of a successful mission, while the US ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
2 votes

Could Laika have survived the Van Allen radiation during the intended duration of her mission?

The flux values of the charged particles radiation vary heavily depending on position within the Van Allen belts and are influenced by solar storms. At the magnetic equator, electrons of energies ...
Uwe's user avatar
  • 49k
2 votes

Why did Sputnik-1 transmit on both 20 and 40 MHz?

Why two different frequencies? Why so far apart? Gosh, everyone missed this part. The reason the two frequencies are so far apart is the antenna. A 1/4 wave antenna 20 MHz is a 1/2 wave antenna at 40 ...
Rick's user avatar
  • 29

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