On today back in 1958, the first-ever satellite, the Soviet Sputnik I, which was the first ever man-made satellite to orbit Earth, fell back into the atmosphere and disintegrated after 92 days moving into space.
The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. Sputnik (meaning ‘companion’ or ‘fellow traveller’) was launched from Kazakhstan. The spacecraft circled Earth every 95 minutes at over 40,000 kilometres per hour, 800 kilometres above the planet.
The satellite had transmitted a radio signal picked up around the world and instrumentation for temperature measurement.