I Mistyped the Date on My Initial Entry of This Blog
Thanks, Niamh, for Pointing Out My Error)
Written 15 May, 2008
On the morning of October 5th, 1957, schoolteachers across the nation stood in from of their classes and told their students shocking news. The Soviet Union had launched, via rocket, a man-made satellite, an information-gathering machine, into orbit around the earth. Even now, it was passing over the United States. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The first Sputnik weighed only 84 kg and was less than two feet in diameter and fell from earth orbit after only three months, but it precipitated a national crisis. Americans were shocked and horrified to learn the Soviets had beaten us to space. We were Americans! How could this be? How dare those borscht-eating, vodka-swilling Communists to show us up like that!
The U.S. began an accelerated program of scientific research and began to stress science education in public schools, panicked decisions that resulted in the Apollo trips to the moon only 20 years later and continue to rack up scientific dividends to this day.
I have always considered the Sputnik design elegant and beautiful, and so I have recreated this piece of retro Cold War cutting-edge design in Second Life. :)