I have to admit that my personal space age started in 1981 when the Space Shuttle launched successfully launched for the first time – the Shuttle was after all the first major development in space exploration I was old enough to appreciate. But for the world at large the space age started fifty years ago, at October 4th 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the very first artificial satellite into Earth orbit.

Instead of singing Sputniks praise myself I will leave that to the experts:

I’m pretty sure that there is something about Sputniks on the pages of the Russian Federal Space Agency, but I haven’t been unable to find it on the english pages (apparently there is something in russian, alas I can’t read that).

Today is also the third anniversary for the launch that helped Space Ship One, the first privatly owned manned Spacecraft, win the Ansari X-Price. More Info on the Scaled Composites website.