Thursday, October 04, 2007

Today In History: Baby Steps.

On this date in 1957, a Soviet R-7 booster lofted a small pressurized sphere, containing a radio transmitter that beeped and not much else, into orbit. Sputnik I became the first man-made satellite of planet Earth.

On the same date, 47 years later, Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne collected the Ansari X-Prize with its third trip to space.


Anonymous said...

One of my earliest memories is of my father's excitement over those silly beeps that our local radio station broadcast in covering the news. Of course, given his pinko politics, he was no doubt jazzed that the Soviets had done it, but I didn't pick up on that.

Anonymous said...

Um, second suborbital spaceflight, right? I think it took only two flights to win the X prize.

Sputnik brings up an interesting point, where there's not really a clear line between military and civilian spending. It may have been orbiting around the world beeping out the code for HI, but what it was really saying was "we can drop a nuke anywhere on the planet we wish".

Cybrludite said...

And thirty years after that day, Columbia made her first flight.

Anonymous said...

Not nearly as important as View From The Porch reclaiming its position as the numba one web purveyor of information about Horrible Screaming Death.

Anonymous said...

We've all heard about the new prize for the first civilian project to put an unmanned rover on the moon that can send back a signal to the team here on Earth, right?

I wish I had lots of money to invest in such a project just for the fun of being able to do it.

Anonymous said...

An amazing video done to one of my favorite space songs.

(Triggers by Cyberludite's Columbia comment).

Anonymous said...

I'm just pleased to have lived long enough to see it. After the moon landings dwindled and Skylab was abandodned, I thought we'd never return to the High Frontier in my lifetime.

From Suptnik to civilian spaceflight in one lifetime: astounding. And we're not done yet!

Cybrludite said...


How do you think I knew off the top of my head that Columbia first flew on the 30th anniversary of Sputnik? ;-)

Anonymous said...

"Um, second suborbital spaceflight, right? I think it took only two flights to win the X prize."

Two flights within _two_ weeks of each other.

First flight was on June 21, 2004. Third flight took the prize; read the linked article ;-).