On Geektimes, more than once news was published that one or another auction house put up rare items of equipment for auction. And this applies not only to computers like the Apple I
, but also to scientific systems. For example, a few years ago, a camera was sold at auction that made its way to the moon and back.
But now it is still more interesting - a prototype of Sputnik-1, its full-scale model, is being put up
for sale in New York. The serial number of the device is 0K6-1 / 002/1957. Inside the case is hidden transmitter. This model was used as a test for testing the radio module, so the prototype is equipped with them. The owners of the Sputnik-1
copy are hoping to gain from $ 100,000 to $ 150,000, and, in general, it is likely that they will get the desired price.
After all, “Sputnik-1” is a symbol of the beginning of the era of “big space” for the inhabitants of the Earth. Scientists during the project have developed several satellite models, conducting each through tests of a certain kind. Using the example of the one that is being put up for auction, the influence of third-party signals on the transmission of radio waves by the device itself was studied.
The working system was put into orbit on October 4, 1957 with the aid of the R-7 launch vehicle launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The device had a small size. Its diameter is 58 centimeters. Weight - 83.6 kilograms. Four antennas were attached to a smooth and brilliant ball, which gave it its recognizable appearance. The body was made of two polished aluminum hemispheres. They were bolted together, sealed housing with a rubber gasket.
In addition to the radio transmitter itself, a power unit was placed inside the case, which supplied the system with energy. The bulk of the weight of the device fell on them - that's about 50 kilograms. In addition to the batteries and the transmitter, there was a place in the balloon for a thermal control system and several sensors.
The satellite’s launch into orbit was successful, it separated from the second stage of the launch vehicle and immediately began transmitting a signal that was heard not only by the project team, but also by radio amateurs of all countries. In principle, the beginning of the space age can be considered just the exit of "Satellite 1" into the Earth's orbit.
Why did they launch the first artificial satellite at all? In fact, there are several goals:
- Verification of the done calculations and solutions proposed by the designers;
- Check the passage of radio waves through the ionosphere;
- Determination of the density of the upper atmosphere by satellite deceleration;
- Check the operation of the equipment in the near-Earth space.
Sputnik-1 was monitored with the help of optical instruments and with the aid of tracking radio signals emitted by the apparatus. The device emitted radio waves at two frequencies 20.005 and 40.002 MHz.Satellite flight parameters:
- Flight starts - October 4, 1957 at 19:28:34 GMT.
- The end of the flight - January 4, 1958
- The mass of the device - 83.6 kg;
- The maximum diameter is 0.58 m.
- The inclination of the orbit is 65.1 °.
- Circulation period - 96.7 minutes.
- Perigee - 228 km.
- Apogee - 947 km.
- Witkov - 1440
After that, the “space race” began with flights of animals and humans into space, sending people to the moon and other achievements. According to experts, after the launch of the satellite, the accelerated work of various US departments on implementing their own space and related programs began. The same development of the ARPANET telecommunication network with packet switching was formed after the successful entry into orbit of Sputnik-1. In addition, the satellite served as an indirect reason for the creation of the Agency for Advanced Defense Research and Development of the United States.
The auction site states that this is an extremely rare model, one of a kind. Total is now aware of several copies. Three of them are in private collections. One is in Russia, in the RSC Energia Museum, and another one in the Seattle Museum, Washington. In all copies, except the one that is in the corporate museum, there is nothing but the shell and antennas. So the copy that is being sold now is truly unique.
The auction should begin tomorrow, at 13:00 EDT.