Whole Object Name
Sputnik Music Box
A small music box, depicting the Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik. Marking the beginning of the Space Race, the launch of Sputnik on 4 October 1957 came as a shock to the United States. Despite being a relatively basic satellite it sparked the ‘Sputnik Crisis’, due to the perceived technological gap the Soviets had opened up on the Americans.
Sputnik had four external radio antennas broadcasting radio pulses, alongside some basic instrumentation for measuring temperature and pressure, and yet Sputnik’s success is one of the most notable events of the twentieth century.
This music box has a small model of Sputnik, with its iconic four pronged radio antennas, mounted by a plastic strip onto a base that represents the Earth. The base has the launch date, 4 October 1957, inscribed alongside the letters CCCP (the Cyrillic letters for the USSR – Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). When wound up, the music box played the tune, 'Le Internationale' - a late 19th century French socialist song that was adopted as the official song of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The tune was intermittently interrupted by a series of beeps that represent the ones transmitted by Sputnik. An inscription on the base translates to ‘Made in the USSR’. Produced in the 1960s, this music box highlights the impact Sputnik had on world events, with items such as this one becoming highly collectible for space enthusiasts.