Anniversary of Sputnik I Launch & Radio Moscow


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who writes:

Yesterday, 4 October, was the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial Earth satellite. The launch heralded the beginning of the space age. Sputnik I’s Doppler-shifted radio transmissions on 20.005 and 40.002 MHz led to the development of the U.S. Navy Navigation Satellite System (Transit) and the equivalent Soviet system (Tsikada) and, eventually, to GPS and GLONASS and the other modern global navigation satellite systems.

The Sputnik I radio signals were picked up by many shortwave listeners. The 20 MHz signal was close to that of WWV and so was easy to find. And, apparently, WWV turned off its 20 MHz transmitter during some of Sputnik I’s passes over the U.S. so as not to interfere with reception.

There are several good sites on the Web with information about Sputnik I and its radio signals including:

Richard's Radio Moscow QSL card (Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Sometime in high school, I received a card from Radio Moscow celebrating the launch of Sputnik I [see above]. Perhaps it was issued in 1967 for the 10th anniversary of the launch.

Richard: You never cease to amaze me! Thank you so much for sharing all of this Sputnik I information and resources! That gorgeous QSL Card is perhaps my favorite design from Radio Moscow.

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6 thoughts on “Anniversary of Sputnik I Launch & Radio Moscow

  1. Arthur Smith

    My dad heard Sputnik with the Hallicrafters SX-42 receiver that I still have today, and am having restored/refurbished. He still has the reel to reel recording, and the QSL card.

  2. Richard Langley

    Although there are no reception details on the back of my card either (see above), it may very well be a QSL card. Checking my old log books (yes, I still have them), I see that I sent a reception report to Radio Moscow for a logging on 28 February 1964 at 00:00 GMT (UTC) on 7150 kHz. My log book indicates that a QSL was received on 20 March 1964 (the fourth one I received since starting SWLing after getting my Knight-Kit Span Master for Christmas 1963). I saved all my cards and there is no other Radio Moscow QSL card with those reception details. I do have a postcard of the building used by Radio Moscow but its backside is blank. So, while I was wrong about when this card was first issued, it may still be a QSL card rather than a souvenir card. Anyone else have this card in their collection perhaps with reception details on the back (there is lots of room for typewritten or handwritten information)?

  3. Chuck Lovett (W7ACI )

    It is interesting that I have the same card in my collection from high school. The back of the card says Radio Moscow in several different languages although it doesnt have a reception date. A regular Radio Moscow QSL card, however, yellow, showing a drawing of a Russian Building with a star on top of it is dated August 8, 1962. I am assuming that I received both cards around the same time. In fact, 1967 would have been too late for me to receive the card since I would have been away from home and in the Army by 1967. In 1962 I was entering sophomore year of High School. Reception was by a Zenith Transoceanic and probably some random wire running out the window and into the back yard. I had that radio and an old Hallicrafters TW1000 that I had bought for $10 with no cabinet. Life was good!!!


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