The purpose of this undergraduate thesis in the fields of Mathematics and Russian Studies at the College of Wooster is to explore the mathematical and cultural significance of the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, and how it was perceived by the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. The historical perception of this launch is established through discussion of the connected series of scientific achievements that led to the inevitable launch of the first artificial Earth satellite made by the Soviets as well as the analyzation of the initial press coverage after the launch. Focus is also given to the theory of orbits and Kepler Laws to establish a more technical understanding of the complications faced in order to launch a satellite into orbit.


Bowen, Jennifer

Second Advisor

Filimonova, Tatiana


Mathematics; Russian Studies


Sputnik, Soviet Union, Kepler Laws, Calculus, Space

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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