One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of a series of Soviet artificial satellites, the first of which (launched on 4 October 1957) was the first satellite to be placed in orbit.
space station, space capsule, spacecraftView synonyms
- ‘In Russian, the word sputnik means a travelling companion.’
- ‘The first sputnik and Yuriy Gagarin's flight on April 12, 1961 made this country a great space power.’
- ‘Ever since the Soviets launched sputnik in 1957, satellites have been part of our consciousness.’
Russian, literally ‘fellow-traveller’.
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