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IBM Space Science News

Watch the 1st American Newsreel of Sputnik Launch 133

MMBK writes with this snippet from "Fifty three years ago this week, the Russians won the space race – or one of its laps – by successfully launching the Sputnik satellite into orbit. This newsreel, the first to report on the launch, recycles older animation about geosynchronic orbits, since all film footage was kept secret (note the very un-Soviet IBM logo on one of the massive computers)."
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Watch the 1st American Newsreel of Sputnik Launch

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  • Its a good thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @10:39PM (#33843000) Journal

    Actually, I have always thought that the Soviets getting a satellite into space first was a good thing, as an American of 45 years. It put the fear of ungod into the American military complex to get into space, which ended up netting more good science than simply building bigger and bigger bombs. It also created a huge demand for science, and boosted the desire of teenagers to enter the science field. Nothing like fear to motivate a country into investing into science.

    Being raised during the cold war in a lifer military family might color my perspective, but a lot of good things came out of the cold war. One of them is the internet, which might have taken much longer to develop if not for the fear of Soviet ICBMs, reinforced by that humble little beeping satellite named Sputnik.

  • by Jeeeb ( 1141117 ) on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:04PM (#33843128)
    After watching the video I don't think the IBM computer shown is meant to be in a Soviet facility. They talk about how the sound being played at the time is an actual signal from the Sputnik, which makes me think that it's meant to be an American signals interception facility. Maybe even with the IBM logo added to make that clear

    Either that or they weren't immune to product placement in the 50's ;) Either way an awesome video.
  • Re:Its a good thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:57PM (#33843292)
    I have no way of knowing that the story I'm about to tell is true, so please take it with a grain of salt.

    Supposedly, Eisenhower's goal was to have the Soviets make the first space flight to establish an international norm that overflying countries while in orbit was not a violation of territorial airspace. Once the Soviets had orbited a satellite over the US, they could hardly object to the US orbiting a satellite over them.
  • Re:Respect (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Saturday October 09, 2010 @01:13AM (#33843536) Homepage

    The "space race" was some of the best work humankind has ever done, for all the worst reasons.

    That's true on a much more fundamental level than you put.

    In the case of Russians, for example:
    Which rocket put Sputnik into orbit? One from R-7 lineage.
    Which rocket put Yuri Gagarin into orbit? One from R-7 lineage.
    Which rockets put Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, and many other payloads into orbit? ...yeah, from R-7 lineage.

    What was the first operational ICBM? R-7 Semyorka. ...not even very good as an ICBM, not very practical. But turned out to be a fabulous launcher; it is "the most reliable ... the most frequently used launch vehicle in the world" [] (and that's coming from, basically, its competitor)

  • Re:Respect (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kilobug ( 213978 ) < minus threevowels> on Saturday October 09, 2010 @04:12AM (#33843972)

    USSR economy "failing so badly" is propaganda. USSR was far from perfect and had many problems, mostly political ones, but also some economical ones, but you can't said it "failed". Just look at [] . GDP of USSR in 1990, just before the fall, was more than 3x the GDP of USSR in 1970, +200% in 20 years is a feat few countries can achieve. And it took very long for the capitalist Russian Federation to reach the level of the USSR.

    USSR collapse was much more due to political reason and the "usual" collapse of a repressive regime than to economical reasons.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian