On the website of the Central intelligence Agency to the 60th anniversary of the launch of the spacecraft “Sputnik 1” published previously classified documents on this event. As follows from the presented data, the CIA and the us administration knew in advance about the impending launch of the first artificial Earth satellite.
In anticipation of the launch of the first Sputnik, American intelligence officers reported on plans of the Soviet leadership. In particular, the document of January 24, 1957 it is reported that this year the Soviet Union could launch a satellite that is able to gather “scientific information and data that have limited military value.” The chance of success of the first launch of the satellite intelligence was assessed as being far from absolute.
In General, according to published messages in the CIA feared that the launch potentially would allow the Soviet Union not only to carry out purely scientific research, but also to gain a military advantage — in particular, they could gather intelligence.
In yet another paper argues that as a power source for transmitters with “Sputnik-1” was used mercury batteries produced in the UK and delivered to the Soviet Union.
Commenting on the publication of previously classified documents, the CIA Director Michael Pompeo noted that the launch of Sputnik started the space race. However, decades later, the rivalry turned into cooperation, the most striking example of which can serve as a joint work of Russian and American astronauts aboard the International space station.
Yesterday Russia and all the mankind has celebrated the 60th anniversary since the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite. Launched 4 October 1957 Sputnik over 92 days made 1440 turns around the Earth, covering nearly 60 million kilometers.
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