July 26, 2014

Is Russian Sputnik still orbiting the Earth?

Question by lesaber251: Is Sputnik still orbiting the Earth?

Quick answer:

Answer by ashlea o
Sputnik burned up when it reentered the atmosphere in January of 1958 (just as it was supposed to).

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Comments

  1. Good simple answer…NO it isn't

  2. Sputnik 1 was launched October 4, 1957 and fell back into the atmosphere and was destroyed on January 4, 1958. Sputnik 2 was launched Nov. 3, 1957, and fell back into the atmosphere late in 1958. The oldest satellite now in orbit is Vanguard 1, launched in March of 1958.

  3. Good question I can't be completely sure of course but i'd bet my house it isn't.

    I do know that sputnik was a very primitive satelite, it was the first to complete a full orbit in space, although just barely, it was very low in orbit just barely over the threshold of what we call "outer space"

    The reason this is noteworthy is because although technically in space there is still enough particles that close to earth to cause significant drag on a satelite, which slows it down and requires it to have occasion retro-rocket "boosts" in order to keep it high enough.

    I assume sputnik didn't have all that much fuel if any to begin with so odds are extremely overwhelming that it didnt stay up there for too long at all.

  4. Hairy Caray says:

    Sputnik 1 disintegrated on or about January 4th, 1958.
    While the Russians had predicted that it would come down somewhere above Alaska, or the West coast of North America, there was one report of parts being found in the area of Los Angeles a month prior.

    A backup unit, minus classified parts, was sold on ebay in 2003. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_1

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