The Sputnik Reaction

  • Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


There is no question that the American reaction to the launch and orbit of Sputnik on October 4, 1957 was more than unnerving; it even caused fear and foreboding in some. While the satellite was just a 23-inch diameter sphere weighing 184 lbs. that simply went “Beep Beep,” it was the first satellite in orbit. More disturbing was the fact that the upper stage of the R-7 booster rocket weighing over 7 tons was also in orbit. If the Soviets could put that much mass into orbit they could clearly launch a nuclear weapon. If you didn’t believe the news, you could go outside and see it (the upper stage, not the satellite) moving across the night sky; a phenomenon that no one had ever witnessed before.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried
    • 1
  1. 1.Lago VistaUSA

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