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July 29, 1958: Ike Inks Space Law, NASA Born in Wake of Russian Program (the Race was ON (they won)

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posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:30 AM
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1958: President Eisenhower signs the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The plot had thickened months before.




Beep … beep … beep …

They were steady, almost metronomic, signals coming from a tiny radio beacon orbiting the Earth every 96 minutes aboard an aluminum sphere measuring a mere 22 inches across. In an instant, everything changed


It was Oct. 4, 1957, when the Soviet news agency Tass announced to a stunned world that the Soviet Union had successfully placed Elementary Satellite 1, known by its diminutive “Sputnik,” into an elliptical orbit some 550 miles above a Cold War–wracked planet.


SPUTNIK 1


Russian News Release image
Source: static.howstuffworks.com...

Sputnik 1 was the Soviet Union's and the world's first orbiting satellite. The signals heard in this recording are weak, over the horizon signals, recorded on a frequency of 20.007 MHz. Other recordings were made with signals strong enough to permit hearing the oscillator feeding through during key up periods. These were made with the satellite in line of sight. The weaker signal recording is presented to show a time when the keying of the signal was interrupted and a steady carrier was transmitted. There are two such instances in this excerpt. WWV which was nearby in frequency shut down their transmitters with each pass on this evening.

Roy and his two-year-old daughter would put the radio speaker in a window and then go outside and listen to the strong signals while they watched the third stage booster tumbling end over end like a bright pulsating star as it passed over in the evening sky. Listen with them to this recording of Sputnik 1 (.WAV (113K) or RealAudio (10K)). This recording was made in Dallas, Texas on October 7, 1957 at 0457Z using a military surplus AN/FRR3A HF RTTY receiver.

Here is a strong signal from Sputnik 1 (.WAV (116K) or RealAudio (11K)).

Here is a newspaper photograph (234K GIF) of Roy playing Sputnik signals at the State Fair of Texas on October 9, 1957.
photo source: www.amsat.org...
and great additional info-with Sound Recording!!!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


American scientists attending a reception at the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., that day knew their Russian colleagues were close. With luck, the thinking went, the USSR might launch a satellite sometime in 1958. But the Americans were close, too. Their Vanguard program, run by the Naval Research Laboratory, was beset by cost overruns and various delays, but they were confident that they would be first into space.

That illusion was completely shattered Oct. 4, which is remembered as “Sputnik Night.” While getting Sputnik into orbit didn’t suddenly confer technological supremacy upon the Russians, it was nevertheless a remarkable achievement — and an enormous propaganda coup. For the moment, at least, communism had trumped capitalism on a major front, and the conceit that America stood unequaled in the technological sphere was shaken.

When, less than a month later, the Russians put the larger and much-heavier Sputnik 2 into orbit, with the dog Laika aboard, genuine alarm set in. Now there was talk of a growing technology gap. There were also fears in U.S. military circles that these satellites might be capable of pinpointing targets for a Soviet nuclear-missile attack.
The Space Age was dawning badly for the United States.

The pressure for a U.S. riposte grew. It only intensified with a failed attempt to launch the Vanguard TV3 satellite in December 1957. It was the Army that finally got the United States off the schneid. Wernher von Braun, a key scientist in Nazi Germany’s rocket program, was now working for the U.S. Army, along with a number of his former German colleagues brought to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip. They convinced the Pentagon to set Vanguard aside and bet the ranch on the Army’s still-untested Project Explorer.

President Eisenhower signed the legislation creating NASA on July 29, and it officially became a functioning entity Oct. 1, with T. Keith Glennan as its first administrator. There were 8,000 employees (inherited from NACA), three research laboratories — Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory and Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory — and an annual budget of $100 million.

The agency’s mission statement will have faint echoes for Star Trek fans: “To improve life here, to extend life there, to find life beyond.”


Source: www.wired.com...

Now, I found this little quip about NASA and I see they indicated the Mission Statement somewhat differently. Anyone know for sure and can clarify?

1958 - NASA founded
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. It formally established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on October 1, 1958, headed by T. Keith Glennan. The agency's official mission was: "To provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes."
Source: www.imperial.ac.uk/centenary/timeline/1950.shtml

I found this article very informative and very interesting as well. More info about NASA I hadn't know. All so interesting to see where it all went from then till now.

Funny/Sad thing is that Russia did win. I think they are the Superior Space force right now. Or will be in short order. There program is ever expanding and growing with allies/partners-Such as India, China, S. Korea et al.

I am worried about what the next 50+ years will bring for NASA-if it will even be around-by that name and mission objectives.


[edit on 7/29/2010 by anon72]

[edit on 7/29/2010 by anon72]

[edit on 7/29/2010 by anon72]




posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:39 AM
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Thank you for very well Put post
S&F from me.

ive always had interest in soviet space technology (especially the old one)so this history bit just hit the right spot!

i feel the same way about Nasa , they cant keep competing when few countrys put up a joint effort to explore space.

Cheers!

[edit on 7/29/2010 by zoomer72]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by zoomer72
 


You're welcome. Since joing ATS, I have become more aware of the Russian Space Program. Very impressive.

That is why I think they Won the Race-in the end. They still growing and NASA is shrinking in size, responsibility and ability.

Shame.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by zoomer72
 


You're welcome. Since joing ATS, I have become more aware of the Russian Space Program. Very impressive.

That is why I think they Won the Race-in the end. They still growing and NASA is shrinking in size, responsibility and ability.

Shame.


Yes! i think so too! and what i like about Russians have always built not so high tech but rugged and sturdy designs may it been spacecraft,airplane or car, which basically is the idea to go in my opinion, because in space for example the more complex the system is ... the more harder it is to fix it and maintenance facilities are quite far away, so why bother if it works as a simplyer version.

you wouldnt happen to have any good links for earlier Soviet era missions and stuff and care to share? personally havent stumbled about any nice ones this far...



cheers!



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by zoomer72
 


Why, yes I do. Not here but I will U2U when I get home. Funny you should ask.

Just yesterday I was cleaning out things and I came across the one Russian site I like etc and was going to pitch it--but I couldn't. I think you will like it.

You are on Spot when you say how the Russians build their stuff. Maybe not the prettiest on the launch pad but they make up for it.



posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by anon72
reply to post by zoomer72
 


Why, yes I do. Not here but I will U2U when I get home. Funny you should ask.

Just yesterday I was cleaning out things and I came across the one Russian site I like etc and was going to pitch it--but I couldn't. I think you will like it.

You are on Spot when you say how the Russians build their stuff. Maybe not the prettiest on the launch pad but they make up for it.


Thank you very much! greatly appreciated!



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