All Things Sputnik


Of course you realize at this point that the great 50th anniversary of Sputnik happens on October 4th. So as a space enthusiast, how can you celebrate the orb that ushered in the space race and birth of the age of rockets? There are several possibilities.

1. Build a Sputnik

2. Build the rocket that launched Sputnik (from my Ultimate Paper Rocket Guide)

3. Buy a model

4. Go out on the night of the 4th and try to observe a current satellite passing over

5. Read a book 1 2 3 4

6. Get a T-Shirt

7. Read about Sputnik in the News

8. Read about Sputnik in Blogs

9. Knit a Sputnik

10. Throw a Sputnik Party

Here are some related video clips:

Universal News Reel

Sputnik 50 years


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12 Responses to All Things Sputnik

  1. brianc says:

    You forgot ‘Watch October Sky‘!

    (or you could add it under #5 and read the book)… 😉

  2. I began to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sputnik on January 1, 2007 when I embarked on a project to optically detect and track 1,957 (1/20 of the total satellite population) individual satellites by the end of the 2007 year. So far (September 27) I have successfully detected 1,650 unique satellites that are orbiting our Earth with a telescope and CCD camera. I consider this a self-proclaimed world record for an amateur astronomer unless someone else can top it. For more information (and images) please visit the CASTOR website (

    Thank You.

  3. rocketry says:

    Thanks Brianc! ‘October Sky’ is an appropriate commemoration. I’ve added “Rocket Boys” in the Read a Book section.

    Mike- Great site and an amazing feat! You must have some great dark skies. I live in an area where my telescope is rendered nearly useless by light pollution even with filters.

  4. Pantherjon says:

    I will be slaving away at work that night 😦 But I have that weekend off, so my commemorative launch of an R7 will be 2 days later on the 6th..

  5. Hello,

    Your website is the ony one (other than mine) that actually suggests celebrating Sputnik without having to go to a boring lecture or symposium. On my website, I post an opinion that wonders why we have to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this momentous achievement by attending lectures and watching boring documentaries that will literally say the same things they have been saying for years!

    I had the (naive) impression that since it will be Sputnik’s 50th anniversary on the 4th of October, that more people would be doing something original (as Sputnik certainly was). I was shocked that satellite companies themselves aren’t doing much to celebrate the event, seeing that Sputnik is the very reason why they exist in the first place!

    I sincerely hope that the reason isn’t that political garbage left over from the Cold War; “The Commies launched it, therefore it is not worth mentioning”. I thought we were done with that!

    I applaud your website for suggesting much more meaningful activities than attending just another expensive lecture (groan).


  6. Bob Leskovec says:

    The St Joseph High School Radio Club tracked Sputnik and recorded 20,00- feet of tape in 8 days. The FBI took the tape and told us we even beat the Navy by 4 hours. See our website for more. SJHRC.ORG

  7. Matthew Small says:

    I’m building the CPSM model. I’m running a little behind schedule so I may have to leave off the multitude of nozzles until after an attempt at launching it on the 4th. I hadn’t realised just how time consuming twirling small pieces of cardstock can be. 🙂

    I also bought an odd book off ebay. It’s called “Soviet Sputniks”. It’s a 56page booklet – Soviet News Booklet No. 25 – London 1958. “This booklet has been based on material published by Soviet scientists, among them “. It has several diagrams and photographs, and explains all sorts of things such as launch challenges and scientific goals. The booklet is a fascinating look back at the space age through the eyes of that time period. I’m glad I took the chance on buying it.

  8. Pingback: Austraunatic News » Blog Archive » How to commemorate Sputnik’s 50th Anniversary

  9. Pingback: If Sputnik was a WOW then Explorer 1 was a SIGH(of relief!) « Rocketry Blog

  10. Hey. I couldn’t get through to this page the other day. Anyone else had the problem?

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