10/4/2012 - Peterson AFB, Colo. -- Air Force Space Command is celebrating its 30th Anniversary! Here is a significant milestone from the command's history which led to the creation of a new command responsible for the space domain...
On 4 October 1957, the USSR launches Sputnik I, the world's first
successful artificial satellite. The surprise success of the Russian's
launch began the Space Age and triggered the Space Race, a part of the
larger Col War. It also lead to the launch of Explorer I, the first US
satellite to go into orbit, launched from then Cape Canaveral Missile
Annex, Fla. approximately 4 months later. Mercury batteries powered the
high-power transmitter on Explorer I for 31 days and the low-power
transmitter for 105 days. Explorer 1 stopped transmission of data on May
23, 1958 when its batteries died, but remained in orbit for more than
12 years. It has been followed by more than 90 scientific spacecraft in
the Explorer series.
Additionally, the launch of Sputnik ushered in new political, military,
technological, and scientific developments. The public reaction to the
"Sputnik crisis" led to the creation of the Advanced Research Projects
Agency (renamed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA
in 1972), NASA, and an increase in U.S. government spending on
scientific research and education.