New York Post

Historian: How Sputnik Changed the World


Sixty years ago this week, recalls John Steele Gordon at Commentary, the Soviet Union changed the world profoundly by launching Sputnik 1, the first satellite, into low-earth orbit, inaugurati­ng the Space Age. It was “a huge propaganda coup” for Moscow. In fact, he notes, “it was nothing but propaganda” — given that Sputnik “did no science at all.” It merely “beeped about once a second, a signal specifical­ly designed to be picked up by any ham radio operator.” At that point, though, the United States “had not yet succeeded in launching a satellite of its own,” and its attempts had failed spectacula­rly. This produced fears the US “was falling behind the Soviet Union,” “led to greatly increased investment in science and technology education” and began the decade-long race to the moon.

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Sputnik 1

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