October 2017: 60 years since the launch of Sputnik
October 2017 marks 60 years since the launch of Sputnik:
On 4th October 1957, the Soviet Union ushered in the Space Age by launching a Russian satellite into space - the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth's atmosphere. They named it Sputnik after the Russian word for satellite. The launch of Sputnik brought the Soviet Union into the technological spotlight and gave the Soviets an early lead in the Space Race against America.