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RE: Sputnik
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When Sputnik took off 50 years ago, the world gazed at the heavens in awe and apprehension, watching what seemed like the unveiling of a sustained Soviet effort to conquer space and score a stunning Cold War triumph.
But 50 years later, it emerges that the momentous launch was far from being part of a well-planned strategy to demonstrate communist superiority over the West. Instead, the first artificial satellite in space was a spur-of-the-moment gamble driven by the dream of one scientist, whose team scrounged a rocket, slapped together a satellite and persuaded a dubious Kremlin to open the space age.

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On the Saturday morning in 1957 after the Soviet Union launched the world's first manmade satellite and inaugurated the space age, President Dwight Eisenhower played golf, a NEWSWEEK reporter in Boston described "massive [public] indifference" and some American papers ran the story as a small box on page three.
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Australia Post is to introduce a series of stamps to celebrate the launch of the sputnik satellite and  50 Years of Space Exploration, on 2 October  2007.

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Sputnik 50 years ago - two pioneers remember
ESA TV Exchanges

Replay 1: 15 June 15:00-15:15 GMT
Replay 2: 16 June 10:30-10:45 GMT

ESA TV asked two pioneers of spaceflight to share their recollections of the Sputnik launch and the spaceflight of Gagarin, and to look back at 50 years of spaceflight: these pioneers are Vladimir Remek, the first non-Russian and non-American to make a spaceflight, and Sigmund Jähn, the first (East)-German cosmonaut. Today, Remek is a Member of European Parliament.
The recordings were made at the space museum in Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz where Jähn was born, and the Exchange also feature archive material on the events the two pioneers disucss.

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Sputnik-1
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Fifty years ago this October a Soviet engineer launched the rocket that put 184lbs of metal and electronics high into orbit. In doing so, he also launched a new phase of the Cold War. But the signals sent by Sputnik-1 as it encircled the globe also contained a message for academics everywhere.
Who said the sky was the limit? Suddenly, science was going places, and going there fast, at speeds greater than 8 kilometres per second: to the strange radiation belts high above the atmosphere, to the moon, to the planets, to the heart of the galaxy, and of course, onto television screens with Tomorrow's World, The Sky at Night and the Open University.
Sputnik-1 was the beginning of a thousand technological marvels, such as real-time Earth observation, accurate weather forecasting, pinpoint navigational accuracy and instant global communication. Because they could get beyond the radiation-absorbing, light-distorting fog of the planet's atmosphere, astronomers could begin to see not just clearly but at all wavelengths - like Superman, suddenly they had x-ray eyes. Because satellite design required big electronics in small packages, computer science took off. Because computer scientists had new ways of storing and transmitting information, geologists could become planetary scientists as well, and dream up billion dollar questions that ended in billion-kilometre journeys.

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Cosmonautics Day
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On 12 April within the framework of celebration of the Cosmonautics Day The A.S. Popov Central Museum of Communications in Saint-Petersburg held videoconference with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with participation of H.Ture, Director General of the ITU, L. Reiman, Minister for Communications and Information Technologies of the Russian Federation, H. Dzhao, Deputy Director of ITU, A. Bashir, Director of Telecommunication Bureau and V. Timofeyev, Director of the Wireless Telecommunication Bureau. After that L. Reiman, Minister for Communications and Information Technologies of the Russian Federation and V. Gorbatkko, twice awarded Hero of the Soviet Union took part in the ceremony of cancelling the stamp «50-anniversary of the age of man in space».
Postal stamps issued to the anniversary of successful launch of the first satellite represent postal block consisting of three stamps with pictures of the first satellite and the portraits of S. Korolev and K. Tsiolkovskiy. The general number of circulation is 125 000 copies.
In honour of the anniversary devoted to the launch of the first space satellite of Earth L. Reiman, Minister for Communications and Information Technologies of the Russian Federation presented the A.S. Popov Central Museum of Communications an exact copy of spacecraft.

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RE: Sputnik
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Sputnik-50th Anniversary



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New Moon - Sputnik I (07 Oct 1957) Partial Newsreel



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Space exploration
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For many of us who grew up in the heady days of Apollo, Star Trek (the original series), and 2001: A Space Odyssey, these last few decades have been something of a disappointment. It, now being late in the first decade of the 21st century, our expectation is that the average citizen should be able to afford a week-long vacation on a space station staying at the Terran Hilton, cruising around in a Ferrari space scooter, and even going to the moon for a few days.
Yet, even before we first set foot on the moon, forces were lining up to dismantle our space program. Manned space flight was just too expensive for a world that seems to have irrational priorities. Many feel that such flights bring far too few benefits to the common man. The Space Shuttle Program was possible only because NASA sold Congress a fantasy story about the shuttle being able to do anything for one-tenth of the cost of Apollo missions, could be turned around in two weeks, and that it would be absolutely safe. I don't want to go into a philosophical debate on the merits of manned spaceflight. Today I want to talk about another realm of space exploration that is unquestionably doing very well indeed.
Americans were absolutely shocked and terrified when the Soviet Union launched mankind's first orbiting satellite in 1957. Its steady beep . . . beep . . . beep is still an auditory icon of space travel. That was only 50 years ago, and even NASA is celebrating that achievement.


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