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back to article Fifty years since Sputnik

Fifty years ago today the space age was truly born, as Sputnik sent back its first signals from orbit. Half a century ago, the Soviets launched what would be our first artificial satellite, and set in motion a revolution of technology. Without Sputnik, Earth orbit would be a much quieter place, and life on Earth would be …

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Don't forget the cables

> I guess I could have a computer, but I wouldn't be able to get on the internet

Not true, unless he lives in the backwoods of Alaska. The vast majority of Internet communication, like international phone calls, goes via under-sea cables.

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correction

"Sputnik also triggered the space race of the 1960s, culminating in the Moon landing" are you suggesting that the us did actually land on the moon???

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Anonymous Coward

Hyperbole, much?

Need GPS to get to work? Hardly. Get you to places you've not been to before, maybe, but not "to work".

"...I could have a computer, but I wouldn't be able to get on the internet...."

Poppycock. Internet != satellite comms. Public policy professors obviously aren't qualified to assess the impact of technology on on public policy.

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Postman Pat

'It carries the TV news we watch when we wake up in the morning'

You are getting up way too early if you have time to watch TV.

I'm lucky if I get the chance to do a Paula on the way into work.

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Anonymous Coward

re: correction

"are you suggesting that the us did actually land on the moon???"

Are you suggesting they didn't???

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Anonymous Coward

Remember ICBM's ?

You young people do not remember what Sputnik really meant - if you can hit orbit, you can hit ANYPLACE on the surface of the earth. So we have spent the last 50 years waiting for the re-entry vehicle delivering death and destruction. Even with George's toy missile defense, you are less than 40 min away from being vaporized.

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Silver badge

Hyperbole, much?

Anonymous Vulture is spot on, Howard McCurdy sounds like he may need his Ritalin dose increasing. What about:

"The civilisation we live in today is as different from the one that we lived in the mid-1950s as the mid-1950s were from the American revolution."

I could easily argue that there were more significant (technology-driven) changes between 1900 and 1950 than between 1950 and now. How about antibiotics, motor cars, air travel, TV and (ubiquitous) telephony services for starters? Most of these technologies have advanced only quantitatively since 1950. IT is the obvious 'new' technology, but it's a moot point whether peoples lives have been significantly improved as a result ...

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re:re: correction

Yes, yes I am, Indeed looking at the technology available, spacecraft design and images from the "moon" I believe the landings to be fraudulent. Most likley an attempt to get one up on the ruskies and make the us look "da bomb"!!!

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Anonymous Coward

And if anyone mentions non-stick pans,

I'll come round and kick their head in.

PS. Like today's Google logo...

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Silver badge

'It carries the TV news we watch when we wake up in the morning'

In the UK if you're watching via cable or freeview, or that old steam powered analogue stuff, then the BBC/ITN news centre are only a wire,fibre,microwave link and a roof top antenna away. No scatter-light required.

They only need scatter-lights to send back urgent reports from far flung places, which let's face it, is just going to be bad news!

So thank you sputnik for all the depressing news!

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Anonymous Coward

@shinobi

If you've looked at the pictures and think they're fake, that just proves that you don't understand optics. Now go and write out a hundred lines: "Light travels very differently in a vacuum than it does in an atmosphere full of dust and water particles and photography looks very different when there's no atmospheric diffusion".

As for the tecnology, what the hell's wrong with it? It was the 1960s, not the middle ages. They had precision engineering. Do you not understand how simple a rocket motor really is? All you basically need are a couple of big tanks full of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, some pipes pumps compressors and valves, machined to a high but hardly demanding standard... what's supposed to be so difficult about any of that?

It would have been far easier to actually go to the moon than to fake such an enormous operation involving hundreds of thousands of employees across hundreds of private contractors and military staff and keep it a secret. Don't forget he one big technology that they *actually* didn't have back in those days: CGI.

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oh, dear - a moon-hoax aficionado...

http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html

If you can read this site and STILL put forward the suggestion that Man hasn't landed on the moon, then I for one will not be wasting my time arguing with you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:re:re: correction

If the landings were faked, why didn't the USSR notice? They had no possible reason to keep quiet.

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Anonymous Coward

Moon

Come on we all know the moon is made from cheese and the US brought back none. Clearly they went for a drive round the arizona desert.

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@Anonymous Vulture

I was referring to the shielding of the rocket passing through the radiation belt, and as for the photos and video. there are several pictures claiming to be at different positions on the moon but have exactly the same (bar a few pebbles) layout and rock positions. as for the video the flag at moments is effected by wind......

who says you need cgi to fake anything; are you saying photos and videos before cgi were infallible????

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the moon is made of cheese

p.s. i love making people arguie about the moon ahahahaha

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Loosen up.

Come on now folks, let's lay off the moon landing conspiracy theories (be it whalers), commies, ICBM warfares, espionage and most of the cold war era humdrums.

I can only be happy that the space age 'propelled' technology in itself a near exponential value in terms of time and knowledge gained. It is mostly through competition that brings out the best in one,

Let's sit back and commemorate this day offering a toast of vodka to them russians and to all the boffins over half a century.

Happy Sputnik Day!

Cheers~

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And if anyone mentions non-stick pans,

I've had a bad day, so bring it on, Anon. I'll cock you upside the head with my non-stick pan.

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Sputnik Aritlces

If you're interested in the history and technology of the early Sputniks, here are three good sites (much better than anything I'm seeing in the mainstream media):

http://www.mentallandscape.com/S_Sputnik.htm

http://home.earthlink.net/~sovietwebspace/SovietWebSpace/sputnik/sputnik.html

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sputnik.html

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refuting all USA conspriacy theorists

Bill Clinton, supposedly one of the smoothest presidents the US of A has had, could not keep secret getting a blowjob from a fat chick.

The american black hat groups just dont have the necessary competence to do a massive deception like faking the moon landings.

now if it was MOSSAD, maybe..

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Satellite TV

So, we have the Russians to blame for Rupert Murdoch, eh?

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

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Moon landing idiotic conspiracy theories

Re: correction

By Shinobi87

Posted Thursday 4th October 2007 10:12 GMT

"Sputnik also triggered the space race of the 1960s, culminating in the Moon landing" are you suggesting that the us did actually land on the moon???

-----------------------

Well, yes. (This is in response to this message and all of the follow-up comments.)

Jodrell Bank tracked the mission all the way out and all the way back and had a precise fix on their position. Even if I didn't trust the Yanks, I trust Sir Bernard Lovell.

I forget which 70-year old astronaut it was who punched an idiotic conspiracy theorist in the teeth (Armstrong, Grissom?), but I'd like to add my weight to that punch.

In commemoration of the Sputnik launch, BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a lot of interesting programmes.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/october/4/newsid_2685000/2685115.stm

and related links.

Every morning this week, there has been a serialised version of the book "Red Moon Rising" by Matthew Brzezinski, which is the story of Sputnik and America's response to it. The more I listen to this, the more I admire the Russkies. (Did you know that the chief designer came to the job after 10 years in the Gulag in Kolyma?)

Let's give credit where it is due. OK, the whole shooting match was an off-shoot of the Cold War, but both sides were brilliant in their way. (I'm pissed off with the way us Brits ducked out of it, though. Whatever happened to Jet Morgan?)

Now, let's get that permanent international Moon Base set up. Onward and upward!

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Joke

Us Russkies were first into space

I bet we can beat Yanks into hyperspace as well. :D

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