4 October 1957: The Launch of Sputnik: Ireland and the Birth of the Space Age 60 years ago today

Catalpast

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4 October 1957: The Launch of Sputnik: Ireland and the Birth of the Space Age 60 years ago today



4 October 1957: Sputnik/Спутник over Ireland. The Soviet Union amazed the World when it launched the first man made object into orbit around the Earth – Sputnik 1 - on this day. Sputnik was a small silver-coloured ball 58cm (2 feet) in diameter, with four frond-like antennae and two radio transmitters. Radio stations rushed to record and re-broadcast the crackly 'beep-beep' signal emitted by the satellite, and it became an iconic sound for a new era - the space generation. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957.


By a fortuitous coincidence the trajectory of the satellite brought it over Ireland and many thousands of Irish people were able to witness the birth of the Space Age. The rocket booster used to launch the metal ball was visible high in the night sky as it orbited the Earth. People from Dublin drove up into the Dublin Mountains to see it more clearly away from the city lights and were not disappointed to see the distinct object as it made its way overhead – incl. Yours truly!

I remember it as a red dot high above  and indeed I had no idea what I was doing up in the mountains looking at the dark sky with my mother and uncle. I recall other people out of their cars doing the same thing. It was only many years later that I pieced it all together as to what this curious recollection buried in my childhood memories actually was.

So for once I can say I witnessed a major historical event and the birth of an Age: The Space Age!

OK so its just a fluke that I remember anything at all

But does anyone else have memories of any of the events that have shaped the Space Age so far?
 


The Nal

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Thought you were going to reveal that we had a space program back then. I doubt we could send something higher than Liberty Hall even now.

We could call it "Spudnick" I suppose.
 

mr_anderson

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Did the USA lose this particular race or were they not even participating ?

My commie science teacher in school always boasted that it proved the superior soviet capacity to organise and get stuff done.
However, later in life I read that the USA wasn't interested in space at that time, with Werner Von Braun coming up a brick wall whenever he asked for funds.
 

owedtojoy

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4 October 1957: The Launch of Sputnik: Ireland and the Birth of the Space Age 60 years ago today



4 October 1957: Sputnik/Спутник over Ireland. The Soviet Union amazed the World when it launched the first man made object into orbit around the Earth – Sputnik 1 - on this day. Sputnik was a small silver-coloured ball 58cm (2 feet) in diameter, with four frond-like antennae and two radio transmitters. Radio stations rushed to record and re-broadcast the crackly 'beep-beep' signal emitted by the satellite, and it became an iconic sound for a new era - the space generation. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957.


By a fortuitous coincidence the trajectory of the satellite brought it over Ireland and many thousands of Irish people were able to witness the birth of the Space Age. The rocket booster used to launch the metal ball was visible high in the night sky as it orbited the Earth. People from Dublin drove up into the Dublin Mountains to see it more clearly away from the city lights and were not disappointed to see the distinct object as it made its way overhead – incl. Yours truly!

I remember it as a red dot high above  and indeed I had no idea what I was doing up in the mountains looking at the dark sky with my mother and uncle. I recall other people out of their cars doing the same thing. It was only many years later that I pieced it all together as to what this curious recollection buried in my childhood memories actually was.

So for once I can say I witnessed a major historical event and the birth of an Age: The Space Age!

OK so its just a fluke that I remember anything at all

But does anyone else have memories of any of the events that have shaped the Space Age so far?
I remember being brought out as a child to see Sputnik moving among the stars.

Everyone else could see it, but I never could!!!!

The biggest advance in Sputnik was the expansion in scientific research and education, not in Russia, but in the USA.

You might say it at least partly fuelled the computer, electronics and communications technology revolutions. But also the advances in the biological sciences.

So the effects of Sputnik were mostly good. Only now the US is turning away from science and back to magical and irrational thinking.
 

mr_anderson

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Thought you were going to reveal that we had a space program back then. I doubt we could send something higher than Liberty Hall even now.

We could call it "Spudnick" I suppose.

We're barely allowed to build higher than liberty Hall.
The planners would put a stop to any Irish space program.
 

Deadlock

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4 October 1957: The Launch of Sputnik: Ireland and the Birth of the Space Age 60 years ago today



4 October 1957: Sputnik/Спутник over Ireland. The Soviet Union amazed the World when it launched the first man made object into orbit around the Earth – Sputnik 1 - on this day. Sputnik was a small silver-coloured ball 58cm (2 feet) in diameter, with four frond-like antennae and two radio transmitters. Radio stations rushed to record and re-broadcast the crackly 'beep-beep' signal emitted by the satellite, and it became an iconic sound for a new era - the space generation. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957.


By a fortuitous coincidence the trajectory of the satellite brought it over Ireland and many thousands of Irish people were able to witness the birth of the Space Age. The rocket booster used to launch the metal ball was visible high in the night sky as it orbited the Earth. People from Dublin drove up into the Dublin Mountains to see it more clearly away from the city lights and were not disappointed to see the distinct object as it made its way overhead – incl. Yours truly!

I remember it as a red dot high above and indeed I had no idea what I was doing up in the mountains looking at the dark sky with my mother and uncle. I recall other people out of their cars doing the same thing. It was only many years later that I pieced it all together as to what this curious recollection buried in my childhood memories actually was.

So for once I can say I witnessed a major historical event and the birth of an Age: The Space Age!

OK so its just a fluke that I remember anything at all

But does anyone else have memories of any of the events that have shaped the Space Age so far?
Great OP thanks.

So many -

The space shuttle disasters - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Columbia_disaster, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster
The first photos of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto from the Voyagers.
Awaiting the landing of Mars Express Beagle.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Express

and most recently and especially ESAs Rosetta and Philae missions to comet 67P
 

owedtojoy

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Did the USA lose this particular race or were they not even participating ?

My commie science teacher in school always boasted that it proved the superior soviet capacity to organise and get stuff done.
However, later in life I read that the USA wasn't interested in space at that time, with Werner Von Braun coming up a brick wall whenever heasked for funds.
You should watch "The Right Stuff" for a take on the effect on the US space programme.

[video=youtube;QuR1p7UdI2Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuR1p7UdI2Y[/video]
 

Fritzbox

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My commie science teacher in school always boasted that it proved the superior soviet capacity to organise and get stuff done.
However, later in life I read that the USA wasn't interested in space at that time, with Werner Von Braun coming up a brick wall whenever he asked for funds.
Did your teacher ever hear of the moon-landings, Neil Armstrong etc? Did he wear a tinfoil hat?

Did the USA lose this particular race or were they not even participating ?
I think we can safely say they won - have you flown on a Russian built airplane recently?
 

Catalpast

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Thought you were going to reveal that we had a space program back then. I doubt we could send something higher than Liberty Hall even now.

We could call it "Spudnick" I suppose.
Ah that's an old one!
 

Catalpast

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Did the USA lose this particular race or were they not even participating ?

My commie science teacher in school always boasted that it proved the superior soviet capacity to organise and get stuff done.
However, later in life I read that the USA wasn't interested in space at that time, with Werner Von Braun coming up a brick wall whenever he asked for funds.
It was low key

- but Sputnik galvanised the USA into action
 

Catalpast

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Catalpast

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Did your teacher ever hear of the moon-landings, Neil Armstrong etc? Did he wear a tinfoil hat?



I think we can safely say they won - have you flown on a Russian built airplane recently?
The Russians are dominant now

The Chinese Dormant

The Indians catching up....

But America will be Great again.....
 

Fritzbox

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Catalpast

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Deadlock

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Technology is the game changer here

As the century goes on the case for AI to do all this on our behalf will be become stronger and stronger

Manned flight is just too risky and expensive for Deep Space exploration
To an extent I agree. Initially technology will map the hazards, but as a prelude to manned exploration and perhaps someday colonisation.

It is the imperative of our species.
 

Catalpast

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To an extent I agree. Initially technology will map the hazards, but as a prelude to manned exploration and perhaps someday colonisation.

It is the imperative of our species.
The Human Body is not designed for Life off the Earth

Sure there maybe micro colonies one day on Mars etc

- but even many centuries from now that would be just low thousands of people

Perhaps with cyber genetics [?] one day Science can design a human form that can withstand the rigours of Space better....
 

gerhard dengler

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4 October 1957: The Launch of Sputnik: Ireland and the Birth of the Space Age 60 years ago today



4 October 1957: Sputnik/Спутник over Ireland. The Soviet Union amazed the World when it launched the first man made object into orbit around the Earth – Sputnik 1 - on this day. Sputnik was a small silver-coloured ball 58cm (2 feet) in diameter, with four frond-like antennae and two radio transmitters. Radio stations rushed to record and re-broadcast the crackly 'beep-beep' signal emitted by the satellite, and it became an iconic sound for a new era - the space generation. The signals continued for 21 days until the transmitter batteries ran out on 26 October 1957.


By a fortuitous coincidence the trajectory of the satellite brought it over Ireland and many thousands of Irish people were able to witness the birth of the Space Age. The rocket booster used to launch the metal ball was visible high in the night sky as it orbited the Earth. People from Dublin drove up into the Dublin Mountains to see it more clearly away from the city lights and were not disappointed to see the distinct object as it made its way overhead – incl. Yours truly!

I remember it as a red dot high above  and indeed I had no idea what I was doing up in the mountains looking at the dark sky with my mother and uncle. I recall other people out of their cars doing the same thing. It was only many years later that I pieced it all together as to what this curious recollection buried in my childhood memories actually was.

So for once I can say I witnessed a major historical event and the birth of an Age: The Space Age!

OK so its just a fluke that I remember anything at all

But does anyone else have memories of any of the events that have shaped the Space Age so far?
Very good OP.
I guess as with the Americans, the Soviet push to make inroads in to space exploration was driven by military reasons initially.

When you compare how rudimentary the equipment and technology were for both programs, compared to what we have now - the successes of both programs are to be greatly commended.
 

Deadlock

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The Human Body is not designed for Life off the Earth

Sure there maybe micro colonies one day on Mars etc

- but even many centuries from now that would be just low thousands of people

Perhaps with cyber genetics [?] one day Science can design a human form that can withstand the rigours of Space better....
Life is however infinitely adaptable - I have no doubts that when we have technologically advanced to a point where manned starfaring becomes a possibility that these issues will be surmountable in the context of other Earth-like worlds.
 


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