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Sputnik 1

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Abraxas
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« on: October 04, 2007, 11:23:43 am »

Prior to launch

The history of the Sputnik 1 project dates back to May 27, 1954, when Sergei Korolev addressed Dmitry Ustinov, then Minister of Defense Industries, proposing development of an artificial satellite of the Earth and forwarding him a report by Mikhail Tikhonravov with an overview of similar projects abroad.[3] Tikhonravov emphasized that an artificial satellite is an inevitable stage in the development of rocket equipment, after which interplanetary communication would become possible. [4] On July 29, 1955 the U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower announced through his press secretary that the United States would launch an artificial satellite during the International Geophysical Year (IGY).[5] A week later, on August 8, the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU approved the idea of creating an artificial satellite.[6] On August 30, Vasily Ryabikov, the head of the State Commission on R-7 rocket test launches, held a meeting where Korolev presented calculation data on the spacecraft to be sent to the Moon. They decided to develop a three-stage version of the R-7 rocket for satellite launches.[7]
On January 30, 1956, the Council of Ministers of the USSR approved practical work on an artificial satellite of the Earth. This satellite, named "Object D", was planned to be completed in 1957-58; it would have a mass of 1,000 to 1,400 kg (2,200 to 3,090 lb) and would carry 200 to 300 kg (440 to 660 lb.) of scientific instruments.[8] The first test launch of "Object D" was scheduled for 1957.[4] According to that decision, work on the satellite was divided between institutions as follows:[9]
   USSR Academy of Sciences was responsible for the general scientific leadership and research instruments supply
   Ministry of Defense Industry and its main executor OKB-1 were assigned a task of creating the satellite as a special carrier for scientific research instruments
   Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry should develop the control system, radiotechnical instruments and the telemetry system
   Ministry of Ship Building Industry should develop gyroscope devices
   Ministry of Machine Building should develop ground launching, refueling and transportation means
   Ministry of Defense was responsible for conducting launches
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