Sputnik – Changing the world 55yrs Ago….
On the 4th of October 1957 the first man-made object to reach space, Sputnik 1, was launched by Russia. This amazing technological feat spurred/forced the USA to respond, and respond they did!
The anniversary of this momentous event is being celebrated across the globe by the “13th annual World Space week,” including a wide variety of themed events in many different countries.
The original 22 inch diameter sphere “Sputnik 1″ had 4 long antennas attached to the top of its frame and utilised a radio beacon to send a “bleep” signal back to Earth while it orbited the planet on a 98 minute cycle.
The “bleep” signal was relayed and played on radio stations throughout the world, this, combined with the visual evidence of the probe, sparked fear into the hearts of the American administration due to the fact that, as far as the rest of the world were concerned, they WERE falling behind Russia in the “Space Race.”
This amazing Russian achievement caused anxiety for all of its cold war enemies and is widely regarded as being a pivotal moment in space exploration due to the almost inevitable response that it provoked/inspired.
Robert Pearlman, a prolific expert on space history and artefacts quotes…
“In the 55 years since Sputnik first beeped its way around the planet, the small silver sphere with its whip-like antennas has transcended the Soviet Union’s success to become a symbol for a global Space Age.”
The Sputnik probe has been credited for prompting John F Kennedy and the American governments move to re-establish U.S. global technological superiority in his declaration stating that the USA would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s.
It is widely believed that had it not been for the Sputnik probe and the Soviet Union’s achievement of putting the first man into space – Yuri Gagarin in 1961, that the Americans would possibly not have ever walked on the moon as they are claimed to have done, (we are not claiming that they did not do this but there are theorists out there that other ideas.)