The Sputnik Years
Interview with Kelly Beatty, The Not Old Better Interview Series
You are listening to the actual telemetry signal from Sputnik 1, launched October 4, 1957.
Sixty years ago, before most people living today were born, the beep-beep-beep of Sputnik, the Soviet Union’s first artificial satellite, and this sound was heard round the world. It was the sound of wonder and foreboding. Nothing would ever be quite the same again — in geopolitics, in science and technology, in everyday life and the capacity of the human species.
As part of our Smithsonian Associates, Art of Living, and newest Inside Science programming, we are joined today via Skype with Kelly Beatty, award-winning senior editor for Sky & Telescope magazine, explores the events leading up to Sputnik’s launch exactly 60 years ago, the political fallout that led to America’s response (Explorer 1), the formation of NASA, and the crucial but largely forgotten role that everyday citizens played in tracking the first satellites.