Happy birthday, little flyer

Sixty years ago today, the Soviet Union — remember them? — lofted a metal sphere, not quite two feet across, into a low Earth orbit, and managed to keep it up there for 1440 circuits, about 43 million miles, though by then it had long since ceased sending radio signals back to the planet.

CBS News — remember them? — put together this eight-minute report on Sputnik, (mostly) free of the kind of ginned-up panic that typifies television news today. Reporting from New York, Douglas Edwards, about two days after the launch:

“Get your ticket to that wheel in space while there’s time.” — Donald Fagen, “I.G.Y.”


  1. McG »

    4 October 2017 · 9:35 pm

    “Space travel: technological hubris, or invitation to annihilation?” –Any 21st-century journo on 1957 TV

  2. In The Mailbox: 10.04.17 : The Other McCain »

    4 October 2017 · 10:55 pm

    […] Dustbury: Happy Birthday, Little Flyer […]

  3. J T »

    5 October 2017 · 10:10 am

    I miss the days when the news was about news.

    Also, thanks for the shoutout to Donald Fagen, Kamakiriad is a great album.

  4. nightfly »

    6 October 2017 · 10:56 am

    Kamakiriad is a good album… but IGY is actually from The Nightfly.

    Ask me how I know.

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