The Sputnik rocket was an uncrewed orbital carrier rocket designed by Sergei Korolev in the Soviet Union, derived from the R-7 Semyorka ICBM. On 4 October 1957, it was used to perform the world's first satellite launch, placing Sputnik 1 into a low Earth orbit.
|Function||Early (first) carrier rocket|
|Country of origin||USSR|
|Height||8K71PS: 30.0 m (98.4 ft)|
8A91: 31.1 m (102 ft)
|Diameter||2.99 m (9.8 ft)|
|Mass||267,000 kg (589,000 lb)|
8A91: 269,300 kg (593,700 lb)
|Payload to LEO (8K71PS)|
|Mass||8K71PS: 500 kg (1,100 lb)|
8A91: 1,327 kg (2,926 lb)
|Launch sites||LC-1/5, Baikonur|
|Total launches||4 (2 8K71PS, 2 8A91)|
|First flight||8K71PS: 4 October 1957|
8A91: 27 April 1958
|Last flight||8K71PS: 3 November 1957|
8A91: 15 May 1958
|People or cargo transported||Sputnik 1|
|Boosters (Block B, V, G, D)|
|Powered by||1 RD-107|
|Maximum thrust||970 kN (220,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||306 s|
|Burn time||120 s|
|First stage (Block A)|
|Powered by||1 RD-108|
|Maximum thrust||912 kN (205,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||308 s|
|Burn time||330 s|
Two versions of the Sputnik were built, the Sputnik-PS (GRAU index 8K71PS), which was used to launch Sputnik 1 and later Sputnik 2, and the Sputnik (8A91), which failed to launch a satellite in April 1958, and subsequently launched Sputnik 3 on 15 May 1958.
A later member of the R-7 family, the Polyot, used the same configuration as the Sputnik rocket, but was constructed from Voskhod components. Because of the similarity, the Polyot was sometimes known as the Sputnik 11A59.
The Sputnik 8A91 had more powerful 8D76 and 8D77 engines installed, increasing its payload capacity, and allowing it to launch much heavier satellites than Sputnik 1 and Sputnik 2. It was launched two times, in 1958. The first launch, on 27 April, failed due to vibrations that unexpectedly occurred during the flight along the longitudinal axis of the rocket. On 15 May, it successfully launched Sputnik 3.