Soviets' 'Moon' Circling Globe At Terrific Speed
MOSCOW (AP)- The Soviet launched the earth's first man-made satellite 560 mile
out in space and it now is circling the globe at tremendous speed.
The dramatic claim that Russia had beaten the United States in the satellite
race came in announcement saying the artificial moon was launched yesterday
by multiple-stage rockets. The site of the launching was not given
The instrument-laden globe was described as 23 inches in diameter and weighing
185 pounds. The announced weight is about nine times that of a projected 22-inch
U.S. earth satellite.
An announcement by the official agency Tass said the moon was circling the
globe every hour and 35 minutes. It transmits radio signals back to the earth
as it hurtles along.
The launching came just three months and four days after the opening of the
International Geophysical Year (IGY), a concerted program by the world's scientists
to learn more of the earth's secrets.
Tass said the moon can be observed by simple optical instruments in the evening
or early morning. Soviet scientists tracked the tiny satellite by radar and
The man-made moon carries no propellant. The thrust of the last rocket sends
it speeding off at about 18,000 miles an hour. This speed is sufficient to offset
the pull of gravity. It thus keeps circling the earth just like the real moon
(The Defense Department in Washington said naval researchers Friday recorded
three passes of the Soviet satellite over the United States, one in the vicinity
of Washington. Radio signals were picked up from the satellite elsewhere in
the United States, Britain and Canada.)
The orbit of the man-made moon was not given. Soviet scientists said previously
they expected to launch a satellite on a north-south path around the earth.
"The successful launching of the first man-made satellite makes a tremendous
contribution to the treasure house of world science and culture," the Tass
"Artificial earth satellites will pave the way for space travel and it
seems that the present generation will witness how the freed and conscious labor
of the people of the new socialist society turns into reality the most bold
dreams of mankind."
The announcement, coming close on the claim Aug. 26 that the Soviet Union had
successfully tested the first intercontinental ballistics missile, is expected
to have an impact both in the Soviet Union and abroad.