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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: This article in the Greenfield Recorder reports the Soviet launch of the first man-made satellite. The "moon" was called Sputnik, a Russian word for satellite or literally "Co-Pather." The launch was a dramatic event in the history of the cold war, signaling that the Soviet Union had beaten the United States in the "race" to outer space, The event came soon after a Soviet test of a long-range nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States. Americans were frightened but also fascinated by Sputnik. They watched its reflection in the night sky and heard its beeping sound on the radio. The belief that the Soviets were ahead of the United States in missile technology led to a dramatic expansion of scientific research and funding for public education in the United States.