What Is Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 was launched into earths orbit on October 4th 1957. It was the first man made satellite and was made by the Soviet Union. To put sputnik into space the soviets used a powerful rocket to launch it high above Earth and shoot it to the ground at a very high speed. It's primary purpose was to send back temperatures of space.
The popular reaction of Americans to the launch of Sputnik was shock and anxiety. Sputnik launched in 1957, still near the beginning of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union, the major enemy of the United States in that conflict, had won the first part of the space race.
The Sputnik program began on October 4, 1957, with the launch of Sputnik 1, which weighed 83 kg (184 lb). The official name of the satellite was Iskustvennyi Sputnik Zemli (fellow world traveler of the earth). The launch vehicle was a test version of the Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (see Guided Missiles).