Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite / Edition 11

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How did a 184 pound, basketball-sized sphere that was launched into space at the height of the Cold War in 1957 change the face of politics, national security, international prestige, and scientific advancement? In this collection of essays, the editors delve into the launching of Sputnik 1 and how this shocking and symbolic achievement changed the world.

This book explores Russia's stunning success of ushering in the space age by launching Sputnik and beating the United States into space. It also examines the formation of NASA, the race for human exploration of the moon, the reality of global satellite communications, and a new generation of scientific spacecraft that began exploring the universe. An introductory essay by Pulitzer Prize winner Walter A. McDougall sets the context for Sputnik and its significance at the end of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Fascinating even outside its space context....Sufficiently different and unique to warrant attention....This well-documented book is presented in three parts....Particularly interesting is an excellent 23-page epilogue by G.P. Hastedt....Highly recommended for all readers who want a balanced view of historical developments in the space race and its associated politics.
In October 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, into Earth orbit. In this collection of essays historians and scholars explore the reasons for the stunning success of Sputnik, the origins and development of the International Geophysical Year and how it related to larger questions of national security and scientific advancement, and long-term ramifications of the satellite. Launius is affiliated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
'This well-documented book is...highly recommended for all readers who want a balanced view of historical developments in the space race and its associated politics. All levels.' - W. E. Howard III, formerly, Universities Space Research Association (Choice)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Walter A. McDougall Introduction: Was Sputnik Really a Saltation?
Part 1: Roger D. Launius Space Flight in the Soviet Union Part 2: Robert W. Smith A Setting for the International Geophysical Year Part 3: Ramifications and Reactions
Glenn P. Hastedt Epilogue: Sputnik and Technological Surprise
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