Russia's space program faces hard questions as it marks the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite.

Some experts are wondering how Russia's aging rocket designs will compete with new, less costly rockets.

Sputnik

Sixty years ago, the area known as the Soviet Union was in a fierce competition with the United States to reach beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Tensions between the world's biggest nuclear powers, the United States and the U.S.S.R., were high. The Cold War between the two competing sides, which began after the end of World War II, was intensifying.

Then, on October 4, 1957, news broke that the Soviets had placed the first artificial satellite into orbit.

Called Sputnik, the satellite was a small sphere, 58 centimeters wide and about 84 kilograms in weight. It contained