On the 4th of October 1957 @ 19:28:34 UTC Sputnik launched, about 98 minutes later it was heard on the radios at Baikonur - confirming that it had completed one successful orbit.
We had made something travel so fast, nearly 30,000 kph, that it took months to fall back to the Earth. To quote a French newspaper from the following day "Earth's gravity has been conquered".
50 years ago we made the single greatest technological achievement since the development of agriculture. Agriculture opened civilisation up for us, and Sputnik opened the entire universe up for us.
How little we have done in those 50 years... No base on Mars, nor spacecraft going to explore other star systems, there is much to do.