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1957: Sputnik and the space race was on!

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On this day in 1957, the USSR put Sputnik in orbit and things were never the same:

“The successful launch of the unmanned satellite Sputnik I by the Soviet Union in October 1957 shocks and frightens many Americans. As the tiny satellite orbited the earth, Americans reacted with dismay that the Soviets could have gotten so far ahead of the supposedly technologically superior United States. There was also fear that with their new invention, the Soviets had gained the upper hand in the arms race. In addition, such a show of technological prowess could only help the USSR in its efforts to achieve closer economic and political relations with third world nations in Africa and Asia.
Democrats scorched the Republican administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower for allowing the United States to fall so far behind the communists. Eisenhower responded by speeding up the U.S. space program, which resulted in the launching of the satelliteExplorer I on January 31, 1958. The “space race” had begun.”

Sputnik also inspired Homer Hickam, a teenager in West Virginia who went on to become a NASA engineer.

I remember watching “October sky” a few years ago.  It was a great movie because there was excitement and drama.

The USSR was first with Sputnik.  However, the US got to the moon first in 1969. The USSR program fell apart in the mid-1960s and never sent a manned mission to the moon.


Written by scantojr

October 4, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in US-USSR

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