Re: Sputnik 1

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Fri Jul 11 2008 - 19:47:15 UTC

  • Next message: Chris Jones: "Re: Sputnik 1"

    On Friday 11 July 2008 21:11, Jeff Umbarger wrote:
    > Also, there have been a number of recent technology shows on TV here in the
    > US about the "Space Race", that show that animation we may all be familiar
    > with of the Sputnik separting from it's nose cone. It's interesting to note
    > that there appears, in the animation, a puff of gas between the nose cone
    > and the satellite body. I never noticed it before but is anyone familiar
    > with the separation mechanism?
    There have been various backup systems to set Sputnik 1 free. In an excellent  
    article about Sputnik 1 in the November 2007 issue of Spaceflight magazine 
    Asif A. Siddiqi mentiones the following details: There was a mechanical 
    pushing system on the launcher to impart a relative velocity of 2.73 m/sec to 
    the satellite. There also was a pyrotechnical system to separate the 
    satellite at a relative speed of 1.45 m/sec and also a spring-loaded 
    mechanism that would separate the protective nosecone at a relative speed of 
    0.643 m/sec. Yet another system involved a nozzle installed on the upper 
    surface of the oxydizer tank that would vent gas from the oxygen tank at the 
    moment of satellite separation to slow down the booster and also to change 
    its attitude to prevent it from colliding with the payload.
    So the Russians put a lot of thought into this seemingly simple satellite!
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
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