55 years of space exploration were celebrated this week55 years ago, history was made, humans made it to outer space. Well, actual humans, just a small metallic sphere that started circling the globe and sending Americans in a panic.
Yes, Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite celebrated 55 years from its launch into orbit this week.
On October 4, 1957 the Russians surprised the world and sparked the imaginations of generations to come by sending Sputnik 1 into a low Earth orbit.
While the same thing could be achieved by a team of dedicated hobbyists today, it was a major breakthrough.
It sparked the start of the Space Race and contributed a great deal to the "cooling" of the cold war. But it's political implications aren't the important ones.
The achievement sparked a mad dash for outer space, which continued with the first man in space, just four years later and culminated in man setting foot on the Moon a mere 12 years after Sputnik was launched. Sadly, that remains the pinnacle of manned space exploration.