The Soviet Union launched Sputnik-1 on October the 5th, 1957 and in so doing kicked the Space Race into high gear – where it would remain for over a decade until the Americans landed Buzz and Neil on the Moon in 1969 and took the crown.
This Sputnik-1 model was built in 1957 as a prototype test model for ground Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Electromagnetic Interference (AMI) testing. It’s the exact size, weight, and specification as the Sputnik-1 that was launched into space – but of course the original was burnt up in the atmosphere on re-entry in 1958.
Just 4 official prototypes of the Sputnik-1 were built, and this is thought to be the only one with a working transmitter. It’s due to be offered for sale by Bonhams at the upcoming Space History Sale on the 20th of July. The estimated value is between $10,000 USD and $15,000 USD – which seems like a bargain for such a significant piece of world history.
Images via Bonhams