On this day in 1958 Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to be put into orbit, fell to Earth after completing 1,440 orbits. The launch of Sputnik was seen as a major blow to the American quest for space superiority, and a significant step forward in the space race by the Soviet Union.
In the wake of the Russian achievement there was a profound sense of fear by the United States. The highly polished surface meant that anyone with a telescope could see the satellite as it passed overhead, and only added to the perception of vulnerability. Nonetheless, the United States was galvanized by the launch and would eventually overtake their Eastern counterparts to eventually claim first place in space technology development.
Still, the name Sputnik echoes down through the years, and we've put together a playlist to celebrate its fall.