Sputnik: The Shock of the Century

Sputnik: The Shock of the Century

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by Paul Dickson
     
 

As Paul Dickson reminds us in this fresh and tightly focused look at the first man-made satellite and the space race that both led up to it and accelerated it, the idea of placing a satellite in Earth's orbit has been familiar to space enthusiasts for a long time -- from Isaac Newton's time, in fact. By the fall of 1957 -- when most Americans did not even know what a… See more details below

Overview

As Paul Dickson reminds us in this fresh and tightly focused look at the first man-made satellite and the space race that both led up to it and accelerated it, the idea of placing a satellite in Earth's orbit has been familiar to space enthusiasts for a long time -- from Isaac Newton's time, in fact. By the fall of 1957 -- when most Americans did not even know what a satellite was -- both the United States and the U.S.S.R. were preparing to go into space, as part of the International Geophysical Year. The Soviet Union went. And on the evening of Friday, October 4, 1957 -- as Leave it to Beaver premiered on American television -- an A-flat beeping from space changed the world. The Soviet Union had placed into orbit the first mad-made satellite -- Sputnik I -- and the Space Age was underway.

Sputnik chronicles the dramatic, often spectacular, events and developments leading up to Sputnik's launch (and the concurrent Ameican efforts to place a satellite in orbit), Sputnik's immediate and long-term impact, and the U.S.-Soviet competition that led to Apollo 11, the Mir space station, and ultimately to our new wireless age of satellite communications.

Dickson goes back to China in 1232 A.D. and the first military use of rockets. He brings back into the spotlight the players who make Sputnik and subsequent space flight possible: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the great Russian visionary theorist, Robert Goddard, the reclusive genius; Hermann Oberth, the tireless Transylvanian promoter of space travel; Werner von Braun, the transplanted German rocketeer; Sergei P. Korolev, the mastermind of the Soviet space-flight program; and so many others, including the Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425188439
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/18/2003
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction1
1.Sputnik Night9
2.Gravity Fighters28
3.Vengeance Rocket49
4.An Open Sky76
5.The Birth of Sputnik94
6.Red Monday108
7.Dog Days134
8.American Birds168
9.Ike Scores191
10.Sputnik's Legacy223
Epilogue246
AppendixSputnik's Long, Lexical Orbit249
Author's Note, Acknowledgments, and Dedication255
Notes258
Bibliography276
Index294

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