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When was the first Satellite launched into space?

Have you looked up in the sky recently? Have you seen a shooting star? Or more likely a satellite? When I was young, I feel like it was a rare occurrence to see a satellite. Any more, not a single stargazing session goes by when I don't see at least a few satellites. Did you know there are nearly 5000 satellites orbiting earth as of the beginning of 2019? No wonder I can see satellites any time I look to the sky for more than a couple minutes. So, this begs the question: When was the first satellite launched?

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I on October 4, 1957, making it the first manmade satellite in space. Shortly after, on November 3, 1957 Sputnik II was launched, carrying a much heavier payload, including a dog named Laika. The USA made a failed attempt at putting a satellite in space before getting it right on January 31, 1958. At this point the space age was in full swing and the beginning of the satellite launches were underway.

What's the most satellites you've seen in a single stargazing session?

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