The oldest object in space made by human hands

To date, space reconnaissance systems track about 17–18 thousand objects in near-earth orbit. The vast majority of them are space junk. These are old satellites, the last stages of rockets, accelerating blocks, fragments left after tests of anti-satellite weapons, collisions, spontaneous explosions of space technology, etc. But which of these objects is the oldest? The answer is the Avangard-1 satellite, as well as the third stage of the rocket, which brought it into space.
The oldest object in space made by human hands “Avangard1”, orbit, will exist, satellite, thousands, earthly, this, orbit, all, stage, third, rocket, space, December, is, Now, the atmosphere, less, objects, space

Avangard-1 was launched on March 17, 1958, becoming the fifth artificial satellite of Earth in history. This was the third attempt - the previous two, which took place on December 6, 1957 and on February 5, 1958, ended with a rocket explosion. The satellite itself was built by the US Navy. This may seem strange, but at that time the US Air Force, Navy and Army had competing space programs.Of course, such a dispersion of resources, to put it mildly, had a bad effect on the overall performance. This was one of the key reasons for establishing NASA in the summer of 1958.
The oldest object in space made by human hands “Avangard1”, orbit, will exist, satellite, thousands, earthly, this, orbit, all, stage, third, rocket, space, December, is, Now, the atmosphere, less, objects, space

Avangard-1 weighed only 1474 grams and was in the shape of a 16.3 cm diameter ball with six antennas. The payload consisted of a pair of transmitters and a pair of thermistors that transmitted data about the temperature inside the case. This information is useful when creating new spacecraft. The satellite was powered using mercury-zinc batteries and solar panels. Contact with Avangard-1 was maintained until 1964.
The main scientific contribution of Avangard-1 is to provide information about the influence of the Earth’s atmosphere on the orbits of near-Earth satellites.
The oldest object in space made by human hands “Avangard1”, orbit, will exist, satellite, thousands, earthly, this, orbit, all, stage, third, rocket, space, December, is, Now, the atmosphere, less, objects, space

The device was launched into a high elliptical orbit. Initially it was predicted that he would survive on it for at least two thousand years. But in reality, the term was greatly overestimated. It turned out that solar activity flashes can lead to “swelling” of the upper layers of the earth’s atmosphere, which in turn enhances their inhibitory effect and reduces the lifetime of the satellites.
The oldest object in space made by human hands “Avangard1”, orbit, will exist, satellite, thousands, earthly, this, orbit, all, stage, third, rocket, space, December, is, Now, the atmosphere, less, objects, space

Nevertheless, even with this factor in mind, Avangard-1 will not enter the earth’s atmosphere soon. Now the satellite is in orbit with a perigee of 656 and apogee of 3,841 km.According to modern calculations, Avangard-1 will last approximately until the end of this century.
The oldest object in space made by human hands “Avangard1”, orbit, will exist, satellite, thousands, earthly, this, orbit, all, stage, third, rocket, space, December, is, Now, the atmosphere, less, objects, space

As for the oldest Soviet spacecraft in space, this is the "Luna-1". The station was supposed to crash into the surface of the moon, but missed six thousand kilometers. Now the device is in a heliocentric orbit, on which it is likely to survive thousands, and most likely millions of years. It is possible that someday the station will be picked up and put up in some museum.
P.S. If anyone is interested, the very first objects in space (the second stage that brought it into orbit "Seven" and directly "Sputnik-1") burned down in the Earth's atmosphere on December 2, 1957 and January 4, 1958.

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