4th October 1957 will be regarded forever as the start of the space age. Add 50 years to that date, and yes! it is today! That day the Soviets managed to launch the Sputnik 1 satellite and make it work in orbit. It was the beginning of the dream: satellites for telecom, navigation, Earth observation came later. A few years later, the focus turned to humans in Space: Gagarin, Tereshkova, Apollo 11... The first man in space was Gagarin on 12th April 1961, but that is to be celebrated in a few years from now... And to complete the list of space age milestones, I shouldn't forget all those probes, rovers and missions to our sister planets in the Solar System!
Check this link out for further information about the Sputnik program.
As expected, NASA and ESA have echoed this 50th anniversary in their websites, and created some sort of special covering the info. Surprisingly, JAXA hasn't... maybe it has to do with the great amount of news from the Selene mission and the lunar orbit injection maneuvre today! Almost everyday there is something going on out there!! If you don't believe it check out this amazing picture of the Earth. It was taken by Selene a few days ago and is the first HDTV picture of the Earth from so far away!