Happy Birthday, Sputnik!

Today it's exactly 50 years since the Soviet Union launched their Sputnik 1 - the world's first artificial satellite to be put into geocentric orbit.

Link [Wikipedia] - via Prylfeber

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How come soviet space names are so much cooler than the americans? "Sputnik" sounds cool even today, while "Explorer 1" sounds like a Ford from 1996

Other cool soviet space names: Luna, Venera, Zond, Proton. Now those are proper spaceships. :-)
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Oh man! I had a big long post about how Sputnik didn't go into geocentric orbit. Then I realized what I thought geocentric referred to was actually geosynchronous. So to prevent someone else from looking like a moron, I'm posting this and providing this helpful link:
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