Launched by the Soviet Union on Oct. 4, 1957, Sputnik I was the first satellite to be put into orbit. The launch ignited the “Space Race” between the United States and Soviet Union, leading to the United States successfully launching its Explorer I satellite into orbit on Jan. 31, 1958, and culminating in 1969 with its landing of a man on the moon. To mark this anniversary, the Census Bureau has gathered the following facts:
The estimated U.S. population in 1957. Today, our nation’s population is an estimated 303 million.
The 1957 population of the Soviet Union and Russia, respectively. Russia’s midyear 2007 population was 141.4 million.
The 2006 population of Brevard County, Fla., home of the Kennedy Space Center. Brevard County communities near the space center include Cape Canaveral (10,363 population in 2006); Cocoa Beach (12,171) and Titusville (44,027).
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb07-42.html> and <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb07-91.html>
The 1950 census population count for Brevard County. Cape Canaveral was the site of Explorer I’s launch and became home in 1962 of the Launch Operations Center, renamed the Kennedy Space Center the following year. At the time of the 1950 census, Cocoa Beach had a population of 246 and Titusville, 2,604.
<http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/fl190090.txt> and <http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1950.htm>
Number of employees of the nation’s 1,593 aerospace product and parts manufacturing establishments in 2005.
Number of aerospace engineers in 2006.
(Source: Upcoming 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States)
The value of goods traded between the United States and Russia in 2006.
Special Editions of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts for Features are issued to provide background information for lesser-known observances, anniversaries of historic events and other timely topics in the news.
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: (301) 763-3030; fax: (301) 457-3670; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.