Sputnik crisis


Sputnik crisis

The Sputnik crisis was a turning point of the Cold War that began on October 4, 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 1 satellite. The United States had believed itself to be the world leader in space technology and thus the leader in missile development. The surprise Sputnik launch and the failure of the first two U.S. launch attempts proved otherwise. The shock of the Sputnik launch was so great throughout America that even congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce commented on the launch, referring to Sputnik's beeps as "an intercontinental outer-space raspberry to a decade of American pretensions that the American way of life was a gilt-edged guarantee of our national superiority". After this initial shock, the Space Race began, leading up to Project Apollo and the moon landings in 1969.

The Sputnik crisis spurred a whole chain of U.S. initiatives, from large to small, many of them initiated by the Department of Defense.

*Within 2 days, calculation of the Sputnik Orbit (joint work by UIUC Astronomy Dept. and Digital Computer Lab).
*By February 1958, the political and defense communities had recognized the need for a high-level Department of Defense organization to execute R&D projects and created the Advanced Research Projects Agency, which later became the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA.
*On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally brought the U.S. into the Space Race by signing the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA and later Project Mercury.
*Education programs initiated to foster a new generation of engineers. One of the more remarkable and remembered things that came out of this was the concept of "New Math".
*Dramatically increased support for scientific research. For 1959, Congress increased the National Science Foundation appropriation to $134 million, almost $100 million higher than the year before. By 1968, the NSF budget would stand at nearly $500 million.
*The Polaris missile program.
*Project management as an area of inquiry and an object of much scrutiny, leading up to the modern concept of project management and standardized project models such as the DoD "Program Evaluation and Review Technique", PERT, invented for Polaris.
*The decision by President John F. Kennedy, who campaigned in 1960 on closing the "missile gap", to deploy 1000 Minuteman missiles, far more ICBMs than the Soviets had at the time.

ee also

*Space Race
*Sputnik program

External links

* Roger D. Launius: [http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/sputorig.html Sputnik and the Origins of the Space Age] , nasa.gov


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sputnik 1 — Infobox Spacecraft Name = Sputnik 1 Спутник 1 Organization = Council of Ministers of the USSR Major Contractors = OKB 1, Soviet Ministry of Radiotechnical Industry Mission Type = Atmospheric studies Satellite Of = Earth Launch = October 4, 1957,… …   Wikipedia

  • Sputnik program — The Sputnik program ( ru. Спутник, IPA ru|ˈsputnʲɪk) was a series of robotic spacecraft missions launched by the Soviet Union. The first of these, Sputnik 1 , launched the first man made object to orbit the Earth. That launch took place on… …   Wikipedia

  • Sputnik 22 — (also known as Korabl 11 and Mars 1962A ) was an attempted Mars flyby mission, launched on October 24, 1962. It was presumably similar to the Mars 1 mission launched eight days later. The intended Mars probe had a mass of 893.5 kg. The spacecraft …   Wikipedia

  • Crisis (comic book) — Infobox comic book title title=New Statesmen imagesize= 250 caption=Crisis #1 (Sept. 1988), featuring an image by Carlos Ezquerra of Eve from Third World War schedule=Fortnightly (1 48) Monthly (49 63) format=Comics anthology publisher= Fleetway… …   Wikipedia

  • Cuban Missile Crisis — Part of the Cold War CIA reference photograph of Soviet R 12 intermedia …   Wikipedia

  • Suez Crisis — The Tripartite Aggression The Sinai War Part of the Cold War and the Arab–Israeli conflict …   Wikipedia

  • Congo Crisis — For other events that might be called the Congo crisis , see Congo Civil War (disambiguation). Congo Crisis Part of the Cold War and the Congo conflicts …   Wikipedia

  • Space Race — For a discussion of all spaceflight programs to date, see History of spaceflight. For a list of key events, see Timeline of space exploration. For other uses of the term, see Space Race (disambiguation). A replica of Sputnik 1, the world s… …   Wikipedia

  • Cold War — For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). United States President …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of events in the Cold War — Part of a series on the History of the Cold War Origins of the Cold War World War II …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.