Fifty years ago, a little beeping ball stunned the world. Sputnik 1, launched October 4, 1957, was not large, weighing in at under 200 pounds. It was not very durable, lasting only 22 days in orbit before burning up on re-entry. However, that first artificial satellite set the stage for many more to follow and marked the dawn of the space age. Join Ira Flatow in this hour of Science Friday for a look back at Sputnik and its effects on science, education, and the way we look at the world.
Jay Barbree is a correspondent for NBC News, focusing on space travel.
Michael D’Antonio is a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer of books, articles, and original stories for film.
Leon Lederman is the 1988 Nobel Laureate in Physics; Director Emeritus at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; and Pritzker Professor of Physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois.
Konrad Dannenberg was a German-American rocket pioneer and member of the German rocket team brought to the United States after World War II.