New York Post

Historian: How Sputnik Changed the World

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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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