Sputnik was the first satellite to orbit earth, launched into space 50 years ago by the former Soviet Union. It marked the beginning of the space race.
The satellite was only the size of a basketball and weighed 183 pounds.
The important day also led to the creation of NASA. Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which then created the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and other government agencies. At this point, the United States was trailing in space exploration.
During the past half-century, man has walked on the moon and space tourists from around the world have paid to orbit the earth.
There is still debate on whether or not space exploration is still important, for this generation. Without such exploration, the human race will still look upon the stars and wonder, begging to know more.