[FPSPACE] Lessons from the Sputnik generation

Jim Oberg jeoberg at comcast.net
Mon Oct 15 01:19:34 EDT 2007

Lessons from the Sputnik generation 


After 50 years, having the Right Stuff means asking the right questions

By James Oberg, NBC News space analyst // Special to MSNBC

Updated: 8:41 p.m. CT Oct 3, 2007

   HOUSTON - Fifty years ago, Sputnik's launch marked humanity's epochal breakout into space, and during the 20 years that followed, engineers created all of the fundamental types of space vehicles and space missions we see today. That amazing burst of human creativity provides lessons that are critical to continued success in space, and arguably on our home planet as well. <snip> 

   The true secret of rocket science isn't about being smart enough to find the right answers to technological problems. Instead, it's about being wise enough to ask the right questions in the first place.


Sputnik witnesses saw failure, then success -


By James Oberg, NBC News space analyst // Special to MSNBC

Updated: 1:34 p.m. CT Oct 4, 2007

   <snip> The first Sputnik presented an entirely different visual apparition to those who witnessed it actually taking off. Workers at the launch site near the Aral Sea in central Asia watched it soar into space during its near-midnight launch. For technical reasons that only later became obvious, what these observers saw convinced them for several desperate minutes that the launch was failing.

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