The first man-made object that was launched into space was invented in the Soviet Union and named Sputnik, which translates to "fellow traveler" or "companion" in Russian. Sputnik was launched into a low-Earth orbit on October 4, 1957 and was only capable of transmitting signals back to Earth.
In 1960, the United States launched a communications satellite into space named ECHO, which allowed users to communicate with one another by bouncing radio signals off its exterior. The ECHO was a passive satellite and was not capable of transmitting its own radio signals. The first true active communication satellites, which were named the RELAY and TELSTAR, were launched by the United States in 1962 and were capable of transmitting and receiving radio signals from Earth.