Introduction: Sputnik 1 Aka the 1st Satellite Put in Orbit by Soviet Union, in 1957

About: I studied Electrical Engineering and a lot of other things. I'm always driven by my passions. Please visit also my Youtube channel.

I've been always fascinated about the story of the Sputnik 1, because it has triggered the Space Race.

On the 4th October 2017, we have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the launch of this Russian satellite, who made history, because it was the first object ever sent successfully to the Low orbit, (not mentioning the other satellite/rocket built by Von Braun Team and JPL - Explorer, that was ready one year before, but it has been launched 4 months later). Please watch this documentary on Youtube:

Sputnik Declassified: "History of the famous satellite and the early space race" NOVA (2007)

Anyway, going back to 1957, the Soviet Union launched this first man-made satellite to the low Earth orbit, from Site No.1/5, at the 5th Tyuratam range, in Kazakh SSR (now known as the Baikonur Cosmodrome).

Sputnik 1 (/ˈspʌtnɪk/; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1") was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. It was visible all around the Earth and its radio pulses were detectable. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments.

The satellite travelled at about 29,000 kilometres per hour (18,000 mph; 8,100 m/s), taking 96.2 minutes to complete each orbit. It transmitted on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz, which were monitored by amateur radio operators throughout the world. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957. Sputnik burned up on 4 January 1958 while reentering Earth's atmosphere, after three months, 1440 completed orbits of the Earth, and a distance travelled of about 70 million km (43 million mi).

(Source Wikipedia)

To build your own one, you need:

1 styrofoam ball (mine is 15cm diameter, but according to the length of the antennas, it would have been better 12cm)

4 telescopic antennas/aerials 35cm (I've removed those from the transmitters I bought, to make my RC Lego BB8)

1 FM transmitter

1 MP3 player

UHU POR glue (foam friendly)

Acrylic paint (metallic)

4 plastic tubes (you'll find in the soap dispenser)

4 short Zip Ties

PVA glue

1 brush

1 small sponge

Step 1: Preparing the Antennas

Slide the antenna inside the tubes and fill the other side with foam, adding a bit of glue.

Please when you cut the foam, do use - very carefully - the utility knife.

Step 2: Painting the Styrofoam Ball

Using PVA glue create the first layer (it will make the surface shiner and easier to paint).

Let it dry and start to paint the foam ball, using some silver acrylic painting.

To create the metallic effect, I put a bit of black in it and I've used a small sponge to lay the different tonality of the color..

Step 3: Attaching the Antennas

Using the Camembert box (Jeez! I've made so many things using these boxes, that I should ask for a sponsorship!*). Create a template that will help you to mark the position of the antennas on the styrofoam ball. The diameter of the box is 11.5cm, the ball 15cm, therefore this template is simply perfect!

Now put a bit of UHU POR on the plastic antenna holders and make 2 holes in the styrofoam ball to slide the zip tie.

Inside the ball you can use a small piece of pop sickle stick to avoid to break the polysterene, when you tie the zip tie itself.

Repeat for the other 3 antennas.

Add-on You can glue 8 permanent magnets to be sure the 2 halves of the styrofoam sphere stay together.

WARNING!!! Do not keep the permanent magnets at hands, if you have small kids.

*Please check my other Instructables (K/\steroid, Fish Feeder and Mini Christmas Tree Project) for the other uses of the Camembert box.

Step 4: Adding the Electronics (aka FM Transmitter and MP3 Reader)

The electronics of the Sputnik is very simple, an MP3 player plays continuously the file that contains the beeping sound of the Sputnik (you can easily find on Youtube) and the FM Transmitter will broadcast the beep on a specific radio frequency.

Step 5: Now You Have Your... Beep, Beep... DIY Sputnik... Beep, Beep....

Listen to it, using your radio, or even the radio app of your smartphone... tovarisch!

Please check my other Instructables outer space related:

Comet 67P Interactive model

Mark Watney the Martian space helmet (An attempt to build a replica)

R2M8N (Race to the moon - Game for mini micro nano drones based on Arduino)

K/\steroid (Game for mini micro nano drones inspired by Asteroid Redirect Mission)

X-37ABC (An attempt to make the X-37B - the most mysterious space plane/drone ever built - fly)

and subscribe to my Youtube channel.


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