Sputnik

The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the western world by announcing the first successful launch of an artificial satellite orbiting the earth – Sputnik 1. Prelude – The International Geophysical Year The 1950’s were politically difficult times for the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions declared the time lasting from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the International Geophysical Year…
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How the ARPANET became the Internet

How the ARPANET became the Internet

On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET as predecessor of today’s internet switched from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to the TCP/IP protocol, and the ARPANET then became one subnet of the early Internet. “There are some people who imagine that older adults don’t know how to use the internet. My immediate reaction is, “I’ve got news for you, we invented it.” — Vint Cerf, a “father of the internet,” quoted at age 73 in…
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Harold Urey and the famous Miller–Urey experiment

Harold Urey and the famous Miller–Urey experiment

On April 29, 1893, American physical chemist and Nobel Laureatev Harold C. Urey was born. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, but may be most prominent for his contribution to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter. Harold Clayton Urey entered the University of Montana in 1914 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1917. A few years later, he returned…
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Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

Valentin Glushko and the Space Race

On January 10, 1989, Soviet engineer Valentin Petrovich Glushko passed away. Gloshko was the principal Soviet designer of rocket engines during the Soviet/American Space Race. He worked with renowned rocket designer Sergey Korolyov. In Aug 1957, they successfully launched the first intercontinental ballistic missile and in October of the same year, sent the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit. Youth and Education Glushko was born in the Russian Empire in 1908…
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Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

Fred Whipple and the Dirty Snowballs

On August 30, 2004, American astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple passed away. Amongst his achievements, he discovered some asteroids and comets, came up with the “dirty snowball” cometary hypothesis, and designed the Whipple shield. Fred Whipple was born on November 5, 1906, in Red Oak, Iowa, as the son of a farmer. An early bout with polio ended his ambition of being a professional tennis player. Whipple studied at Occidental College in Southern California,…
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