Sputnik

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Sputnik

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:04 pm

Space.com reports that sputnik was a spontaneous gamble and not planned. In retrospect it should seem suspicious that the rockets used in the early Soviet space program were so huge--the original design was to hurl h-bombs at the US. A problem with the warhead caused the program to stall. Two scientists pleaded the case for a satellite. Of course they won, but the general opinion was the satellite was "a toy, a silly fantasy."
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Re: Sputnik

Postby barfle » Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:28 pm

I'm old enough to remember Sputnik, and the incredible hand-wringing it caused in the backwater part of the US I lived in at the time (and, I suspect even in the really big cities, like Saginaw). Of course they used military rockets to launch it. That's all there were, on either side of the iron curtain.

The rockets were originally intended to throw big rocks half-way around the world. But they could be used to throw smaller rocks several times around the world.
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Re: Sputnik

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:30 pm

It may've been a silly toy, but I remember we had little crystal receivers that could receive the "beep". We sf-reading kids thought it was way cool but the AirForce ossifer that lived down the street was seriously annoyed by that attitude. They apparently had some institutional anxiety over the beep. :roll:
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Re: Sputnik

Postby Shapley » Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:46 pm

We used to have a tavern in my home town named the 'Sputnik Lounge'. It had a canopy that hung over the sidewalk, and there was a plywood 'shpere' (for lack of a better term) fitted with many yellow 'bug light' bulbs and a few metal-rod 'antennae' hanging from the canopy. I'm told back in the old days there were multi-coloured bulbs instead of the yellow ones.

I did not know the significance of the name for many years. It was not until I was in high school that I learned of the Russian Satelite. Even then, it was several years before I began to wonder why a tavern in a little redneck town in Southeastern Missouri would be named after a Russian satelite at the height of the cold war.

The bar burned down in the '70s. I believe it had changed name by then, but I couldn't swear to it.

V/R
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Re: Sputnik

Postby barfle » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:49 am

I remember a grocery store in my home town called the Satellite Market. Their sign was a couple of counter-rotating hemispheres with a bunch of rods sticking out that had lights on the ends.

The last time I visited there, it had been turned into an antique mall, and a restaurant was in the parking lot.
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