Sputnik at 50

It has been widely mentioned in the blogosphere already (Ian, Tom, Phil, and Andrew) but today is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. Sputnik was launched by the Soviet Union and was the very first artificial Earth satellite. The satellite itself broadcast for all with a radio set to hear. However, the UK also got itself involved in the event back in 1957. The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank was still being completed when Sputnik was launched but it was quickly rushed into action as it was the only radio telescope in the world at that time that was capable of detecting the booster rocket with radar. We talked to Sir Bernard Lovell about those early years on the September and October Jodcasts (part 1, part 2 and part 3 audio) so have a listen.

We've had a fantastic day at Jodrell Bank with the Russian Ambassador, the UK Science and Innovation Minister and the Astronomer Royal (Martin Rees) all here to celebrate Sputnik, the Lovell Telescope and the announcement that the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array (big future international radio telescope) will be based in Manchester. A busy day with lots of important people from the world of radio astronomy to talk to. Look out for some interviews from today on the next Jodcast.

Nice to see that Google made a special logo for today too.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 04th Oct 2007 (18:32 BST) | Permalink
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