On This Day: The Launch of Sputnik

The launch of Sputnik began the Space Race. Scholars learn the importance of the Russian launch of Sputnik and how it impacted the United States. The video also explores how Sputnik launched the Space Race and how the fear of Russian technological superiority fueled Cold War tensions.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Discuss how the launch of Sputnik affected the Cold War
  • Have learners research the Space Race in greater detail
Classroom Considerations
  • A free C-SPAN Classroom account is needed to access the resource, or teachers may use the following login credentials: Username: students, Password: C-SPANCLASSROOM

  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Video shows archival footage of the Sputnik launch
  • The resource uses interviews to discuss the launch from multiple points of view 
  • None