Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October 4, 1957

October 4, 1957. Was it really as long ago as 49 years? Leave it to Beaver was starting its run on prime time. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik. What a juxtaposition! The satellite, built by Valentin Glushko, weighed 184 pounds. It orbited the earth every 96 minutes at a height of 584 miles. America was suddenly jolted out of its post-war comfort zone and redefined. Education suddenly shifted to an emphasis on science. The arms race that became the Cold War began. NASA came into being and the space race began. Paul Dickson’s Sputnik, the shock of the century (629.1 DIC) is a fascinating history, starting with the weekend of “awe” through the changes the launch brought.

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