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On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 11:50 PM, Yuri Takhteyev <> wrote:
> When Korolev's team finally got around
> to building one, they called it "Prosteishii sputnik 1" - "Basic
> satellite 1".

It is summer time (in the Northern hemisphere) and some people might
have spare time while on vacation.
A good book on the history of the Russian Space Program was translated
in English and is available at Amazon for $1.99/volume

Boris Chertok "Rockets and People - Volume I [Kindle Edition]" for $1.99
There are also volumes 2,3 and 4.

The whole Sputnik 1 launch was very ad-hoc and to a some degree an act
of desperation. The previous tests revealed that the military payload
that R-7 ICBMs were supposed to carry was disintegrating on reentry
into dense atmosphere. To buy time to redesign the payload shield and
to deflect the criticism Sergey Korolev decided to try payload that
only goes up and does not need to get down. The rest is the History...