tv Doc Film - The Sputnik Shock Deutsche Welle July 29, 2018 11:15am-12:00pm CEST
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it was in all the headlines soviet moon races around the earth russians shocked america the soviet union had made history with sputnik one. was kind of like get up there with a baseball bat and the ocean put a sugar shock on admittedly most of us shortly should know the russians were there for all this crew record the first shot of. the world had caught sputnik fever people were enthusiastic about the soviets pioneering achievement. just not me i'm pleased that the soviet union was the country that produced this masterpiece. with you ladies and gentlemen these are the sensational signals from space soviet russia. won the competition with the u.s.
to put a satellite in orbit. these are the first signals from space. and one of my favorite is a long queue sputnik and 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 god forsaken 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 free point five ton nuclear warhead across a range of at least eight thousand kilometers. the task force and to build a rocket to transport something into space the specific aim was to get a nuclear warhead from point a to point b. with point a in the soviet union and point b. in the us there's a bit when you all was on the good. from the beginning the baikonur long. site was
exclusively military territory the target was america not outer space the cosmos remained 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 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 projects. and if
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. you could. most americans were convinced the soviet union was an enormous very backward country. there was even a genre of jokes about their blocky looking cars and the peasant in the kremlin. by contrast to 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 believed the race for
space had already been won before it even started. nobody in the u.s. seemed to doubt they would take the top prize. 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 meanwhile 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. you know he's very good looking he was very persuasive hayward's very attentive to audiences so you know he knew what people wanted to hear and he would be your shape the way what he said to make the audience interested in it so he just seemed sure had this natural ability to have
a cruise no. fun wrong wanted to get into space he didn't care who paid for it. well when it was a personal dimension he wanted to be a hero he wanted to be the columbus was raising water to be first. 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. spying for funding washington decided against the ambitious german american. the us navy ended up getting the green light for the prestige project front brown was out of the race. and they wanted to have a military change time with work and on the redstone that's all and i think the. general feeling was. redstone as
a weapon for the army was higher priority than. the us army was out of the race but front runner remained 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 beaten 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 your eyes good morning me deal. 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. to abort 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. perhaps a rocket is like a woman to whom you've yet to be introduced or. if you need to address or with the formal you. know in this sense the rock it demands far more adulation and devotion than the most beautiful of women. we learned to address her properly. the real power behind the project was chief constructors sergey carli of the soviet counterpart different from brown. carly off was respected and feared by everyone in 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 whiz 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. as our man would take this fresh pride of the space. in the sky. even life magazine was absolutely sure the us would get to the finish line first. there was a little bit of arrogance you know that certainly in the general public before sport may carry kind of been resting easy and feeling art while we were always first we would be first in this you know if you read the kind of press and books in government press releases about grand garden nine hundred fifty six fifty seven it
was just assumed that it would be the first move and sort of take account of the fact that that might not be the first. on july seventh eisenhower announced that the u.s. 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 used to surveillance flights had picked up wasn't being taken all that seriously in the white house in fact about a 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 the 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 go. car you off knew 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 works properly. the breakthrough came on august twenty first one nine hundred fifty seven it was the first successful launch of the missile. yet
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. was really excited he understood he'd been handed a rubber baton which he could now used to make threats. from 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. carly 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 each shield was solved. meanwhile they could use the r seven to launch a space satellite a sputnik. and only one of which were but by far the. did you cook. what cutie have to do all of the that accompany the coolness a little weather could go cold know it will look to coat it though if you can do this. carly off it was even more determined than any other soviet to penetrate space he pushed for even more speed. judge judy why the death 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 locus cover really off will remain in the history books forever the. 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 us 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 at the end of an old company brown had warned people in the summer of one nine hundred fifty seven that the soviets were in the region 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 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 is coming they're going to beat us. off was planning his face sensation in secret the r seven rocket was scheduled to carry the sputnik satellite into space on october sixth.
a short time before that at the end of september the us suddenly started testing the global flight control system for its vanguard satellite it wasn't supposed to be launched until nine hundred fifty eight. carli off was alarmed he pressured his team for speed and pulled the launch date forward by two days. ago was that after consulting with his minister corral you off independently he made the decision to not the rocket and sputnik without a decision from the political hero or khrushchev sanction to all 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 a russian doesn't even go to the toilet without getting an order first city of close. on october
third one thousand nine hundred fifty seven the rapidly assembled metal sphere was prepared for a launch. from 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 it was working. as the rocket was taken along the one point five kilometer route to the launch pad to 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 with the fire spinning rocket actually find its way into space. everything seemed to be going perfectly fine this time. but in the book a good bit of both 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 seems like a miracle to us at the book of the earth. that showed up. there should you have although we were all atheists there are many who say that god knows who he has to help what got. us by the road or. the sort of big boss is 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 spinning monster had been launched without a disaster. but the epic significance of this first flight even seemed to escape most of the rock a cheeky in baikonur. and it still wasn't clear if sputnik would actually reach its orbital path above the earth. orbital trajectory was approximately over us over by you know. when we saw this little point and only when we saw it did we become aware that it 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. 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. of the future but that. discussing this with local officials well because we can talk on the. all of it will listen this is being upset if we listen this beeps and then went to sleep because it was late to. tell us soberly reported the flight data of the new satellite the speed of eight kilometers per second orbital time ninety five minutes
everything was going according to plan without much ado at all. but the reaction in the west was different. 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 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. there was a five crime reporting prompter about the launch of an artificial terrestrial satellite it was nothing special just a sphere with whiskey but the 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 it 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 want better than the americans that everything is fair but there were things we could beat them at. cosmo 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 i knew that it's just been this tonight. it wasn't until several days after the launch that the soviets realized they had achieved quite a coup which is when prompter suddenly went on the offensive. in the u.s. the disappointment was particularly bitter among the people working with preference 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. at a banquet the night that 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 russian just put up a satellite you know kind of like what like thrown over her but in a little bit. here it was it was shock shock for product a shock oh oh. there is no secret their version 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. there
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 thought 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 in tahrir as as interpreted in the 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 you drop a bomb on us can inspire 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 just i'm telling the truth to the american people putting ourselves in mind of our friends and our neighbors and by that i mean let's find out just where we stand and it's right and 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 barristers 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 listen for its characteristic beep. 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 nik mission was of course viewed as
a triumph of communism. if you look to 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 hung 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 came by and 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 has i believe 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 yes 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 through the blame game began community
big way people pointing fingers in washington in government in 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 . and cover and. until then they believed that our american territory was really safe protected as it was by the two oceans we really didn't have to worry to kill now the russian bear was knocking at the door and all of a sudden he was coming out of the sky to that must have triggered some major fields . 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 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 authors observed 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. the birth of. 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. oh 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 it go much further erode away what that way with it
is up with a way. like it was the next big soviet space feat she was the first living being to fly into space. where 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 was certainly more important sputnik one where sputnik one way to hundred eighty four pounds and was about size of a beach ball sputnik two was about the size of a vokes 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 you. heard. might. as well have a right bad boy should be lying remember that. but that didn't put a damper on the space craze in general. we really thought that your bar successes how does completely convinced. especially after we launched the second sputnik. your breakthrough even though the english especially accused us of animal cruelty about the dog. or 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 about 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. so you. need to get the you know what that could be. 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. there was a news conference in november what she showed off the first two were head over had real success we returned. and he went on t.v. and said you see we are coming along we have the technology don't worry so much things will be ok and. you didn't go over very well because people said look they've already want to satellites your mil 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 well. meanwhile the world was now asking a different question when with the americans launched their first spacecraft.
in november one nine hundred fifty seven a few days after the like a mission the u.s. presented its satellite 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 an f. and 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 eyes an hour ahead 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 vienna from brown's career. four months after sputnik a converted bridgestone rocket was launched. from drone was triumphant. all of huntsville turned out to underfund brown and his two daughters. the reaction amongst force. why. people come out of the house hollered you know. i think there was generally speaking there was. a relief
that well we wanted to be. a native german fan efren 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 sergei carli off wasn't allowed to enjoy any public education he wasn't permitted to make p.r. appearances give interviews or be photographed or 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. it was
that it was rather difficult for carly off to put up with. in fact it was quite painful for him. early 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 guy and became the first man in space. was the next humiliation for the u.s. . but three years after coralie office death fun bronze 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. the mission 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. i. really loved to talk about the so-called sputnik moment the aha moment at which we realized 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 uses on more than page . 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. this may sound like. taking the plunge underwood's see i'm. climbing up i feel tired and it's lost in fact. thinking the brief on a visit to estonia is not just national. you're moment.
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