SPACE HISTORY: World’s First Artificial Satellite Sputnik Turns 63-Years-Old
By Space.com // October 5, 2020
World Space Week 2020 celebrates the impact of satellites on humanity.
(Space.com) – The pioneering flight of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, 63 years ago this week had a deep resonance on Americans on the other side of the world from where the Soviet satellite launched.
Bonnie Dunbar, a five-time NASA space shuttle astronaut, grew up in rural Washington state in a set of “sheep herder cookhouses”, she recalled in a NASA oral interview.
There was no indoor plumbing at her place, and only a small oil stove allowed the family to stay warm.
“[There was] nothing around us,” she said in the 1998 interview, recalling her first view of the satellite on Oct. 4, 1957.
“At night, no lights to the north … the Milky Way was a big white band across the sky. That’s how I saw Sputnik. That was my first real introduction to spaceflight, was watching it go over.
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