Sputnik 50 Years Later

 

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The day Sputnik took off, space flight experts including Frederick C. Durant III, Ernst Stuhlinger, and Arthur C. Clarke, were assembling in Barcelona, Spain, at an annual meeting of the International Astronautical Federation. Just as the leading thinkers involved in the possibility of sending objects into orbit were unpacking their bags, they were jolted by word that Russia had launched Sputnik and that their theories had become reality.

 


Arthur C. Clarke

Interview with Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, is a prolific science fiction and nonfiction writer, author of the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a prescient futurist. Clarke led the British delegation to the October 1957 International Astronautical Federation convention in Barcelona.

"We had already retired to our hotel rooms after a busy day of presentations by the time the news broke. I was awakened by reporters seeking an authoritative comment on the Soviet achievement."

  Frederick C. Durant III

Interview with Frederick C. Durant III

A U.S. Navy test pilot and former president of the International Astronautical Federation, Frederick C. Durant III was a member of Wernher von Braun’s Project Orbiter team at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

When Sputnik went up—I think it was a Friday evening—well, we all met on Saturday, and the news came over the radio about the launching of the satellite.
 
Ernst Stuhlinger

Interview with Ernst Stuhlinger

Ernst Stuhlinger, a member of Wernher von Braun’s rocket team in Germany and later in the United States, served as a senior research director on the Project Orbiter team at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

“The taxi driver turned on the radio in the cab, and I heard the news that the Russians had launched a satellite.”
 
Secrets of Spuutnik

sputnik info

Sputnik facts and figures