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Sputnik 4



Sputnik 4 (1960 Epsilon 1), also called Korable Sputnik 1, was the first of a series of spacecraft used to investigate the means for manned space flight, contained scientific instruments, a television system, and a self-sustaining biological cabin with a dummy of a man. The spacecraft was designed to study the operation of the life support system and the stresses of flight. The spacecraft radioed both extensive telemetry and prerecorded voice communications. After four days of flight, the reentry cabin was separated from its service module and retrorockets were fired, but because of an incorrect attitude the spacecraft did not reenter the atmosphere as planned. Instead, the cabin re-entered on 5 September 1960, with one small piece landing in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Alternate Names

  • 00034
  • 1960 Epsilon 1
  • Sputnik4

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1960-05-15
Launch Vehicle: Modified SS-6 (Sapwood) with 1st Generation Upper Stage
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), U.S.S.R
Mass: 1477 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (U.S.S.R)


  • Engineering
  • Life Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office


Selected References

  • Wasson, J. T., Radioactivity in Sputnik fragment, J. Geophys. Res., 69, No. 11, 2223-2230, doi:10.1029/JZ069i011p02223, June 1964.
  • Lewis, C., Soviet Sputnik IV re-entry try fails, Space Technol., 3, No. 3, 14, July 1960.
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