Lead: Looking back, the achievement was not that significant, but at the time the weak, raspy signal of Sputnik seemed a dire warning to a complacent America.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The International Geophysical Year, from 1957 to 1958, was intended to promote peaceful research and foster scientific projects between scholars of various nations. One such field of inquiry was the upper reaches of earth’s atmosphere and beyond. Both the Soviet Union and the United States had announced their scientists, working independently, would launch an artificial satellite during the IGY.  Americans scoffed at the notion that the Russians could put a satellite into to orbit. On October 4, 1957 the laughing stopped. At 6:00 PM EST the Associated Press announced that the Soviet Union had launched an earth satellite. Almost overnight, essayists Edwin Diamond and Stephen Bates write, the self-assured center of American culture began coming apart.


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