Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was launched into space. It was built and launched by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Sputnik weighed 185 pounds (84 kilograms). Tracking stations in the United States were able to convert their receivers to Sputnik’s radio transmission frequency and track the satellite before it burned up re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. This event pressed the United States to move forward with its satellite program.