Published: Oct. 4, 2021

Photo of a mock up of Sputnik 1

The Soviet Union’s Sputnik spacecraft launched 64 years ago today (1957). History changed forever as this large-pumpkin sized craft orbited the Earth.

This one event sparked the beginning of the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. NASA wasn’t established yet, but this singular event spurred Congress to take the military and technological prowess of the Soviet Union seriously.

Listen to the beeps that sent chills down the spines of those around the world + more from the NASA History Division!