4 October 1957 is a landmark date of global significance, marking the beginning of the space age. On that day, the USSR launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, a ball-shaped device 58 cm in diameter that carried four whip-like antennas and weighed about 83 kg. The spacecraft was developed by a group of Soviet scientists led by Sergey Korolev.
The first ever satellite flight in the Earth's ionosphere, which lasted until 4 January 1958, enabled the USSR to obtain crucial results which allowed to bring the country and the whole world to the forefront of scientific knowledge, open up new opportunities for mankind in the study and exploration of near-Earth and outer space, and lay the groundwork for space launches, satellite navigation and communications. The event largely determined the vector of global development, setting a solid foundation for the emergence of new technological solutions in our everyday lives.
Today, the Russian Federation, building on the legacy of the USSR, continues its consistent exploration of the space within the framework of the national Federal Space Programme for 2016–2025. Our country is a key player in a number of international initiatives, including the International Space Station, and is developing cooperation with foreign partners on a bilateral and multilateral basis. Russian space industry enterprises, in cooperation with universities, are implementing breakthrough projects in science and technology, including rocket and satellite construction, remote sensing, telemetry, communications and navigation.
Russia is a reliable provider of spacecraft launch services for interested companies around the world. It also promotes the development of the scientific and technical potential, professional self-determination and creativity of children and youth.
For more information on the Federal Space Programme of the Russian Federation and other projects, please visit: www.en.roscosmos.ru.