Launch of Sputnik I
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first man-made object in space, which sparked the start of the Space Race with the United States.
Plans for the satellite began back in December 1954, when Soviet rocket scientist Sergei Korolev proposed the creation of an artificial satellite, urging that it was an important step in the development of rocket technology. Less than a year later, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced that the US would launch an artificial satellite during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. In response, the Soviet government quickly approved work to move forward on the satellite.