tv Doc Film - The Sputnik Shock Deutsche Welle July 15, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST
it was in all the headlines soviet moon races around the earth russians shocked america the soviet union made history with sputnik one. was called like get it there the baseball bat and the bush british sugar shock admittedly most of us at least didn't know the russians were that this group record the first satellite of. the world had caught sputnik fever people were enthusiastic about the soviets pioneering achievement. just nobody i'm pleased that the soviet union was the country that produced this masterpiece. ladies and gentlemen these are the sensational signals from space soviet russia has won the competition with the u.s. to put a satellite in orbit. these are the first signals from space. one
of my favorite is a long queue sputnik you gave the world a bucket. of. baikonur is the place from where sputnik one opened the gateway to space on october fourth one nine hundred fifty seven. two years before the historic sputnik flight of broad step was the only thing here besides a lonely train station and camels. it was a godforsaken place until the kremlin decided in one nine hundred fifty five to create an enormous facility for testing nuclear missiles. construction in the wastelands of the step went on a pace that was baikonur in one nine hundred fifty five.
more and more military personnel came into the closed region. keeping it all very hush hush was the rule. in the kremlin soviet leader nikita khrushchev and his nuclear weapon strategists were putting their hopes in a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile the r seven. it was the also of his job to carry a three point five ton nuclear warhead across a range of at least eight thousand kilometers. the task wasn't to build a rocket to transport something to space the specific aim was to get a nuclear warhead from point a to point speak with a point in the soviet union and point b. in the us. with all the good. from the beginning the baikonur launch site was exclusively military territory the target was america not outer space the cosmos remain the stuff of science fiction films.
in one nine hundred fifty six soviet science fiction film presented visions of conquering outer space it even had special effects worthy of hollywood. so were rockets and trips into space just fantasies the dreams of a mad scientist. by then both the soviets and the americans had long been running ambitious missile development programs. in one nine hundred fifty five u.s. president dwight eisenhower announced that the u.s. would launch an earth orbiting satellite within the next three years. two days later the kremlin told the world it was planning to put a satellite up to. people in the west could only guess at how far the soviet ten progressed with their secret project. is. there were a number of americans who were convinced that the russians had very good engineers
and that they should be taken seriously as competitors and that we americans would have to make a big effort if we wanted to win. there were other americans that said the russians weren't that far along but they were backwards in everything and were peasants that couldn't do it. so we had nothing to fear. most americans were convinced the soviet union was an enormous very backward country. there was even a general of jokes about their blocky looking cars and the peasants in the kremlin . by contrast the american way of life meant prosperity huge streamlined automobiles and optimism. it was a country that could be sure of itself in every respect. many believe in the race for space had already been won before it even started. nobody in the us seemed to
doubt they would take the top. german american vendor from brown in particular could always drum up public support for spaceflight in the mid fifty's a daring visionary and clever pragmatist he spoke on television of flying to the stars mean while he was still occupied only with building nuclear missiles for the army if he wanted to take things further he had to win his employers over to the idea of conquering space to convince them he described space stations as potential platforms for launching nuclear weapons. here was very good looking he was very persuasive he words very attentive to audiences so you know he knew what people wanted to hear and he would be your you shape the what he said to do to make the audience interested in it so he just seemed show had this natural ability to have a christmas. fun drunk wanted to get into space he didn't care who paid for it.
well so it was a personal dimension he wanted to be a hero he wanted to be the columbus was raising water. the chances seemed especially favorable during what was known as the international geophysical year. but from ground still needed an ok from president eisenhower after all there were other people in the u.s. vying for funding washington decided against the ambitious german american. the us navy ended up getting the green light for the prestige project for brown west out of the race. and they wanted to have a military change at the time been brought on with working on the redstone missile and i think the. general feeling was that the redstone as a weapon for the army was hired for. this to fix
things. the u.s. army was. out of the race but front runner remain focused on the satellite project just in case the navy's model turned out to be a flop. apparently it didn't occur to anyone that the soviets could beat them even though the russians were making no secret of their intensive work with missiles. but nothing about the secret activities at baikonur made it into the news. i mean it was good i would go to would go to war you have to say that the u.s. secret services did a poor job. we had so many technological breakthroughs starting with the atomic bombing i mean the americans didn't know anything about it they were convinced that our economy had broken down completely. they still come up with nonsense like that . and they still don't understand who they're dealing with the more woodbine yeah
it's the morning me deal with. the new enormous rocket launch pad baikonur was finally finished after two years of feverish development and construction work. and the rocket had progressed to the point that test flights could begin. when you are seven was the world's most powerful rocket at that time it was a masterpiece of soviet engineering. the first test launch was in may nine hundred fifty seven no one knew how the two hundred seventy ton colossus would behave. failed. the next test came a few weeks later it failed to. the new technology seemed especially prone to flaws it was a monster full of tricks. aboard the wall she exploded in
mid-air and part of one of the sides flew right at me luckily however the rocket decided to spare me. after that we had orders to address the rocket using the formal you know. perhaps a rocket is like a woman to whom you've yet to be introduced or. you need to address or with a formal you. in this sense the rock it demands far more adulation and devotion than the most beautiful of women. we learned to address her properly as. the real power behind the project was chief constructors sergey carley off the soviet counterpart to vanna from brown. carly off was respected and feared by everyone baikonur the sooner the r seven rocket worked the better were his chances of winning the space race. but he knew the americans were in the running to. a u.s. newsreel in july one thousand nine hundred fifty seven showed how the first u.s.
satellite would ways around the globe. a satellite is ready. the satellite was good to go then guard was supposed to open the door to space for all humanity. that is our man will take his first ride of the space. in the sky. even life magazine was absolutely sure of the us would get to the finish line first. there was a little bit of arrogance you know certainly in the general public before sport may care kind of been resting easy and feeling our well we were always first we were the first to notice you know you read the kind of press in books in government press releases about grand garden ninety producer of the seven who just assumed that it would be the first i don't even try to take account of the fact that that might not be the first. on july seventh eisenhower announced that the us
satellite would be launched in the coming year. and it seemed absolutely certain that no one would put up another craft ahead of that. even though there were clear indicators that the soviets were in the race. secret cia information that you two surveillance flights had picked up wasn't being taken all that seriously in the white house in fact about as seriously as official test reports after all they were used to soviet games of bluff and deception. this time however the soviets were right on schedule nevertheless carli off had to rearrange his plans unlike the rocket that would carry it this satellite code named object was still far from ready it was too complex so he swiftly decided to take it out of the program and replace it with a simpler sputnik the constructor's had to work a lot of overtime. but i don't think they always had an eye on the americans. and
he turned up the heat. but he wasn't the only one pushing us to hurry the politicians were to. the ideological department of the central committee of the party was driving us like the dickens to. not just curly off got to know. car your new of course that his space flight plans didn't top the list of soviet priorities any dreams of getting into space would remain fantasies until the r seven rocket worked properly. the breakthrough came on august twenty first one nine hundred fifty seven it was the first successful launch of the missile. get a report that so clearly off went to khrushchev and was able to announce that the soviet union had a rocket that was capable of reaching u.s.
territory carrying a nuclear warhead or hydrogen bomb. khrushchev was really excited. he understood he'd been handed a rubber baton which he could now used to make threats. from both of them a. test proudly trumpeted that the intercontinental missile could hit any target on earth. that was the truth it was just rather big the missile could hit any targets on earth just not with a bomb. the heat shield specifications for the atomic bomb had been miscalculated it would have melted going through the atmosphere. carli off needed to come up with an idea quickly and showed himself to be a skilled technician. he suggested to khrushchev that missile test with military warheads should be suspended until the problem with he chilled was solved. meanwhile they
could use the r seven to launch a space satellite yes but nick. and all the while the question but why. did it. work you really have to do all of the that accompany fulness a little. gold gold will look to coat it gold you can do this. cali off was even more determined than any other soviet to penetrate space he pushed for even more speed. judge judy what he had out of course he wanted to be first he knew that everyone remembered columbus but the second man to set foot in america was already long forgotten it's the same way with space he knew that if i shoot the thing up into space then the name of sergei pop locusts correctly off will remain in the history books forever. work was intensifying in earnest in september one nine hundred fifty seven there were a number of newspaper reports and rumors that the soviets were preparing to launch
a satellite but officials in the u.s. remained relaxed even when venner from brown was warning about the psychological effects of such a pioneering achievement perhaps he was hoping to revive his own opportunity. but another of the often brown haired warned people in the summer of one nine hundred fifty seven that the soviets were on the bridge and he was not alone or a number of experts in the missile business in the united states who watched what the soviets were saying and they said they in the summer bunker for tuesday when they gave out the the the frequencies for the first satellite and brown warned people this is coming as it's coming they're going to beat us. carly off was planning just a sensation in secret the r seven rocket was scheduled to carry this but except light into space on october sixth.
a short time before that at the end of september the u.s. suddenly started testing the global flight control system for its vanguard satellite it wasn't supposed to be launched until nine hundred fifty eight but carli off was alarmed he pressured his team for speed and pulled the launch date forward by two days. was that after consulting with his minister corral you off independently you made the decision to launch the rocket and sputnik without a decision from the political hero or khrushchev sanction to all of that showed he was ready to take an enormous risk here. there was no official party decision saying we're putting a spotlight satellite into space on october fourth two that was really something because normally in the soviet union there was the saying have a russian doesn't even go to the toilet without getting an order first city of clue or. an october third one thousand nine hundred fifty seven the rapidly assembled metal sphere was prepared for launch. deadlines were really very short
today no one would be able to accomplish anything in such a short time. but because of the ongoing competition with the americans and the enthusiasm with which we worked it was possible back then when he was working. as the rocket was taken along the one point five kilometer route to the launch pad the chief constructor carli off walked alongside. the final launch preparations were made on the morning of october fourth as the final countdown to the statistical probabilities of success were determined to be relatively small until that time only one r seven rocket had flown a half way reliable trajectory. if the launch works this time would the fire spinning rocket actually find its way
into space. everything seemed to be going perfectly fine this time. but in the book a little bit during the first launch the most surprising thing was that it went without a single hitch. until this time we've had a whole series of flops and flaws so the successful launch seemed like a miracle to us at the book of the with. that showed up. there should be although we were all atheists there are many who say that god knows who he has to help. us for that are. the sort of big bosses congratulated us they said that we all could happen the rest of our lives off and now everything else was clear. we parted but i was there just
as well as they did is moscow even though unfortunately alcohol wasn't permitted. everyone was relieved they were happy that the fire spitting monster had been launched without a disaster. but the epic significance of this first flight even seemed to escape most of the rocky cheeky in baikonur. and it still wasn't clear if sputnik would actually reach its orbital path above the earth. if you talk of the macos and the orbital trajectory was approximately over us over baikonur. when we saw this little point and only when we saw it did we become aware of what had happened just an hour and a half the earlier we could touch it and now it was flying above our heads and would never return only then did we become conscious of the greatness of the event
so we. sputnik one was orbiting the earth. the beeping metal spear was whizzing away over the heads of the unsuspecting americans. in the kremlin soviet leader nikita khrushchev ordered that he be kept up to date. but even then he didn't seem to understand the historic implications of this great soviet feat. to go to. discussing this with local officials well because we can talk of the. all of them will listen this being upset if we listen this beeps and then went to sleep because it was late to. test soberly reported the flight data of the new satellite the speed of eight kilometers per second time ninety five minutes everything was going according to plan without much ado at all. but the reaction
in the west was different. ladies and gentlemen the ancient dream of humanity advancing into space seems to have become a reality because yesterday evening at precisely eleven thirty five pm a newsflash came in at the world's press agencies this task bulletin from the soviet union on this bulletin from eleven thirty five pm said that on october fourth the soviet union successfully launched the world's first artificial terrestrial satellite. as has been said ladies and gentlemen these are the first and i believe in comprehensible signals from space. the competition between the us and the soviet union to put up a terrestrial satellite has been won by soviet russia. even though it was a global sensation there were no banner headlines on the front page of pravda the
next day there was only the test news brief and no image or blatant propaganda. to show you there was a five crime report improv about the launch of an artificial terrestrial satellite it was nothing special just a sphere with whiskey but the beat beat beat went that was it and the whole world was going crazy. sputnik made every front page it was a global sensation america was in a state of shock no one had believed facility is could do it. you know there's a sense of national humiliation how could we be second we're the leader in technology how could you know country of tractor drivers and whatever how could they possibly beat us so here's the sales with sputnik the soviet union proved to america and the rest of the world that it wasn't a backward country. we weren't better than the americans that everything was fear
but there were things we could beat them at. spaceflight and the peaceful use of nuclear energy for example. we simply showed the world that we weren't a backward country and we weren't second rate either and if there is to be in this tonight. it wasn't until several days after the launch that the soviets realized they had achieved quite a coup which is when procter suddenly went on the offensive. in the us the disappointment was particularly bitter among the people working with friend a friend brown in huntsville alabama for brown had been knocked out of the race or at least was no longer in the running for the winning spot. there was a gathering of. the powers of government and hopeful that at
a banquet the night the russians put up their first. and i needn't go into great detail explaining to you. the mood of that banquet when it was announced. the russians just put up a satellite. you know kind of like what black thrown over there but in a little bit. it was shock just shock for profit was a shock. there is no secret there burned of on brown and the rocketeers there were down in huntsville at the redstone arsenal felt that you know if they'd just given us this task we could have beat these guys and and the reality is they probably could if they did not have the mission to do so and you can kick yourself in the aftermath of the answer. either there or that they simply didn't expect that we would work that well and be able to keep
our launch schedule so secret. so the first flight caught them unawares and they understood they had lost their predominance but. it was a heavy blow for them prestige wise and politically. the u.s. military monitored the beeping metal ball with special telescopes but the shimmering white dot was imperceptible for most of the public. nevertheless the specialist knew it was a huge achievement on the part of the soviet union. at the devil in scientific form terms and intel are it as as interpreted in political terms i think it was probably the biggest shock of the. twentieth century because. i don't think people knew what it was they were frightened by it and. they sort of thought well what can it do i mean can a drop
a bomb on us can inspire on us and frightening. and the response by the scientific community is how do we match it. u.s. president eisenhower remained demonstrably composed and went to play golf the day after sputnik was launched. he tried to talk down all the commotion sputnik didn't make an impression on him not at all he said all they had done was put one small metal ball into the air. later he came up with even more denigrating descriptions of sputnik eisenhower didn't really think that we needed to run around with their hair on fire. and there were some members of his party in congress who disagreed with him. and his vice president disagreed with him as well richard nixon thought that we should have been more aggressive and that we had short changed our ballistic missile efforts up to that point this government is to start telling the
truth that the american people kidding ourselves in mind of our friends and our neighbors and by that i mean that find out just where we stand at this rate and if i'm in the picture and let's find out just what we're going to do about it but quit acting as if nothing happened because something has happened and it has been bearish that throughout the world. servers all over the world have caught sputnik fever they were all searching the skies for a tiny white dot amateur radio operators listened for its characteristic. newspapers printed daily where sputnik could be seen. at night people got out their telescopes and used reflector telescopes during the day. the prestigious race for space was taken up by the media all over the world even in divided germany. in the east this but mission was of course viewed as a triumph of communism. if
. october fourth one nine hundred fifty seven is a day that will go down in human history on this day the exploration of space began . we are all witnesses to a great development the liberated and conscious work of people in a socialist society can make the most daring of dreams reality. that over there they say the soviet people are five years ahead yes and they're probably hang on to it because we know absolutely that the conditions for research in the soviet union are much better than they are in america they've combined what do you think about an artificial satellite racing around the globe and. yes you know i didn't believe the russians could do it through it all yet because i believe that what do you think now for example after the soviets have managed to do it ahead of the americans that will give some people pause for thought as i think so too. the view of the soviets pioneering feat was more sober in the west. of
course the russian launch of the first global satellite hit like a bomb here in washington. during the first few days you got the impression that anyone in a responsible position was a bit confused and had lost their heads over it. but in the meantime things have settled down when do you believe that america will launch its satellite and do you think they already have the rockets they need to do it. then. the usa plans to launch its first i t y found alive in the spring of ninety eight. but that was a long way off the media was getting impatient pressure was mounting. the media got more and more in an uproar about this about the blame game began tricky unit big way people pointing figures in washington in government in the congress in the media saying why did we come second so i think public worry and concern got
stronger over time. suddenly the us was worried about being vulnerable to attack. people recalled the duck and cover drills from the beginning of the fifty's that provided directions on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack now there were new fears of being exposed to enemy missile attacks . that uncover and. until then they believed that our american territory was really safe protected as you close by the two oceans we really didn't have to worry the to kill now the russian bear was knocking out the door and all of a sudden he was coming out of the sky to that most attributes a major theist. as the first artificial global satellite was orbiting the globe that backward soviets were leading the space race suddenly people believed they could do anything and everything even the impossible. on november first one nine
hundred fifty seven a newspaper reported bill bombed the moon. the author cited cia inside sources and said the soviets were planning to shoot and detonate a hydrogen bomb on the moon on november seventh. of course the author's absurd predictions were wrong although a short time later such a project actually came into being. but in the fall of one nine hundred fifty seven it still wasn't technically possible so the soviets came up with something else. the first living creature was to be sent into space onboard sputnik two. khrushchev was so pleased by sputnik one that he was immediately ready to sacrifice yet another of his few nuclear missiles to make a new space sensation. after all it would soon be the fortieth anniversary of the great october revolution.
who should have worked with. his mother called curly off when we got back to baikonur after being home on leave. he asked if it was possible to launch another sputnik in time for the october revolution celebrations . by november seventh. but. curly off was shocked at first because he wasn't interested in doing a repeat of the first sputnik. so they had to think of something completely new. both that and that's how they came up with the idea of launching the dog like a into space. but will put a dormant for the roadway of what that way with. a way. like it was the next big soviet space feat she was the first living being to fly
into space. for a space ship had to be designed in four weeks the launch took place on november third. there were no plans for like his return. the second sputnik flight was even more impressive than the first. spotted two is certainly more important sputnik one where sputnik one way to hundred eighty four pounds and was about the size of a beach ball sputnik two was about the size of invokes wagon and had a dog inside and it had much more capability much more electronics and if you were not concerned about sputnik one because its national security implications were pretty modest. you should be concerned about sputnik too because you put a pretty pretty big bomb in the capsule that was so spun into. the global press began to question the mission for the first time. there were doubts about whether like his death was actually a painless one as had been officially maintained and suffering for clearly that god
will be nice. and baby and. partner might. as well battle right battle. should be lying remember that. but that didn't put a damper on the space craze in general. get it through your bar successes how does completely convinced. especially after we launched the second sputnik. there but even though the english especially accused us of animal cruelty about the dog. all women. were political leaders again expressed that the missiles could be used to transport something besides a hydrogen bomb successfully. this time the soviet propaganda machine didn't miss its cue on november fourth and the next day on the front pages boasted
of the latest achievement in space just in time for the upcoming revolution celebration. four days after the second space sensation the painstakingly prepared demonstration of power took place as usual on red square. that you need to get the if you want that people on. the leader in the kremlin could show off with more than just military missiles the fleet of sputnik's even allowed him an advantage in the struggle for hearts and minds. particularly in the third world. two days after the rocket parade on red square eisenhower made a long awaited appearance at the white house the president was on the defensive.
as you put it to reinforce this point you know we were behind there were we were watching we weren't what was wrong with us eisenhower went on t.v. and there was a news conference in november when she showed off the first warhead vehicle that had risks us we returned and. he went on t.v. and said you see we're coming along we have the technology don't worry so much things will be ok and. they didn't go over very well because people said look they've already launched two satellites are familiar to us there's a lot of people saying you know why should we believe what president eisenhower saying because obviously we aren't doing that. meanwhile the world was now asking a different question when with the americans launch their first spacecraft. in november one nine hundred fifty seven a few days after the like a mission the u.s. presented its settled light the launch was scheduled for early one nine hundred
fifty eight after a testing phase. yet the pressure was so great that the white house decided to skip the tests and go live with the launch even though internal documents indicated the prospects for success were slim. it was the navy's vanguard rocket the project that had been given the go ahead instead of fund runs. the honor of the u.s. was supposed to be restored on december sixth one nine hundred fifty seven eight weeks after the sputnik one launch. but the rocket exploded on the launch pad. the press called it a flop nick. but the p.r. disaster gave van a friend brown the opportunity he needed he was well prepared to make his redstone rocket ready to go into space he'd never given up his plans to launch a satellite even though i said howard had ordered him to abandon them he'd simply
been waiting for his chance now it had arrived. on january thirty first one nine hundred fifty eight the countdown took place that would decide the future of u.s. space flight and vanna from brown's career. four months after sputnik a converted redstone rocket was launched. one drone was triumphant. all of huntsville turned out to underfund brown and his two daughters. well the reaction of actual. why. people come out of the house hollered and yelled. i think there was generally speaking there were some relief that well we want to for. the native german family from brown became
a national hero as a rocket man in the u.s. . the media celebrated his success for brown was everywhere. the position of his soviet counterpart was the opposite the actual winner of the initial race into space sergey carli off wasn't allowed to enjoy any public education he wasn't permitted to make p.r. appearances give interviews or be photographed for magazines nothing he could only write articles under a pseudonym. the grand old man of the soviet space program was relegated to the back row at public events. his name remained a well kept secret until the bitter end. at international events people were introduced in his stead who had nothing to do with his spaceflights. but there was that it was rather difficult for carly off to put up with. in fact it was quite
painful for him. sergey corley often died in one nine hundred sixty six only then did the public get to see his face. the world didn't even know his name until he was buried in the kremlin wall as a hero of the soviet union the man who ensured he and sputnik one would have a place in the history books. and it wasn't just sputnik. four years after that launch carli have succeeded again in the next space conquest when you're a good girl and became the first man in space. was the next humiliation for the u.s. . but three years after coralie of stephan brown's saturn five moon rocket turned things around for the americans again. landing a man on the moon was the first u.s. triumph over the soviets in space. limitation had been triggered by the sputnik shock more than a decade earlier. sputnik frightened and shook up america more than anything else.
the country revamped its educational system and reinvented itself as a high tech nation. loves to talk about the so-called sputnik moment the aha moment at which we realize we have to take affirmative action to achieve some end whatever that end might be we've heard presidents use that many times mr obama used them or the teacher. after sputnik one burned up in the atmosphere according to plan in january one nine hundred fifty eight american reporter gabriel heater wasn't far from the truth when he wrote thank you mr sputnik you'll never know how big a noise you made you gave us a shock that hit many people as hard as pearl harbor you hit our pride a frightful blow you suddenly made us realize that we are not the best in everything you reminded us of an old. ash an american word humility you woke us up
out of a long sleep. on . the back of. the next this week's highlights. cancel must play word in the netherlands is the european capital of culture. fun for everyone the canadian stiffly celebrates its one hundred seventy fifth birthday last and i into the nation lithuania mots a hundred years of independence. after half double.
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this is news to live from berlin after twenty years if there is again friends have lived in the world come for a fee for a second time to be a dish on the team to beat croatia in the final in moscow betting on wild celebrations back home which will undoubtedly last well into the night. they move across croatian hopes that they can win.