Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 9:46am
50 YEARS AGO, SPUTNIK CHANGED EVERYTHING
[SOURCE: Associated Press]
Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was launched by the Soviets and circled the globe Oct. 4, 1957. The Space Age was born. And what followed were changes to everyday life that people now take for granted. What we see on television, how we communicate with each other, and how we pay for what we buy have all changed with the birth of satellites. Communications satellites helped bring wars and celebrations from thousands of miles away into our living rooms. When we go outside, weather satellites show us whether we need to carry an umbrella or flee a hurricane. And global positioning system satellites even keep us from getting lost on unfamiliar streets. Sputnik gave birth to more than mere technology. The threat of a Soviet-dominated space spurred the U.S. government to increase tenfold money spent on science, education and research. Satellite pictures of Earth inspired an embryonic environmental movement.
* The Legacy of Sputnik
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Editorial staff]
[Commentary] Now there are wistful calls for another Sputnik-like event to goad a re-invigoration of American education and technology. Some hope that China’s emerging space program will serve as a catalyst, but it is hard to believe that much fear or awe will be generated if China retraces the steps we took decades ago. Future space exploration, involving extremely costly missions to Mars and the asteroids, will likely require close cooperation with other nations, not fearful reaction against their achievements.
* Blessings of Sputnik
[SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor, AUTHOR: Charles A. Stevenson, John Hopkins University]
[Commentary] The National Academy of Sciences released a report last year concluding that "US advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster US competitiveness and preeminence in these areas." The report called for programs to improve science and math education, basic research, and the development and recruitment of scientists and engineers. One analyst commented, "Today's Sputnik? It's a little bigger. It's called China." Whether or not such programs are worthwhile, it is notable that so many people are trying to rekindle the concerns and cooperation and commitment that we saw in 1957. The unstated premise is that, back then, we responded well to a worrisome challenge, and we can and should do it again.
* Sputnik: An education liftoff
[SOURCE: USAToday, AUTHOR: Greg Toppo]
As Sputnik jump-started the space race, the little aluminum sphere also jolted the nation's education system. The aftershocks are still felt today.
* How Sputnik changed the world
[SOURCE: USAToday, AUTHOR: Astronaut Mike Mullane]
[Commentary] 50 years ago today, the Soviets launched a 183-pound wake-up call into space. It was the 9/11 of the day, frightening Americans and sending the space race into warp speed.
* Beep . . . Beep . . . Beep
[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Editorial staff]
[Commentary] Sputnik launched the Cold War space race, but the rocket-fueled U.S. economy finally won the day.
* The making of Sputnik (Sergei N. Khrushchev)
* Sputnik's anniversary sparks reflection
* What Sputnik Launched
[SOURCE: Washington Post 10/5, AUTHOR: Charles Krauthammer]
- 50 Years Ago, Launch of a New World
- One Giant Leap
- Our New Sputnik Moment
- You Call This An Army? The Terrifying Shortage of US Cyberwarriors
- Our Generation's Sputnik Moment is Now
- Sputnik Moment: The Call for a National Broadband Policy
- Sir Bernard Lovell Dies at 98; a Radio Telescope Bears His Name
- The Space Age
- How We Outrace the Robots
- America COMPETES Act Keeps America's Leadership on Target
- Sputnik 2: Time for Broadband
- Health Care Needs an Internet Revolution
- We need a mobile broadband space race
- Dish Has â€˜Free Speech TVâ€™ Problem
- The changing media landscape