HOW V2 - THE NAZI ROCKET AND SCIENTISTS WERE USED BY AMERICANS AND RUSSIANS IN SPACE WAR!!
October 4, 1957.Moscow time 10.29 PM. As Russia launched the first artificial satellite named 'Sputnik 1' -meaning fellow traveller in Russian language- US ,the west and the rest of the world were taken aback by surprise!Russian(Soviet) news agency TASS and Radio Moscow announced that the successful launch could be seen with the use of a powerful binocular and even record the Beep-Beep signal using apt instruments!As the scientists and others in US watched and listened in awe, mixed with panic than happiness, this Soviet spacecraft passed over them many times a day!! The space war between Russia and US had begun that day during another already ongoing war- the cold war.
Before the excitement over Sputnik 1 was over, Russians fired the 'Sputnik 2' just after 4 weeks, on November 3 1957! The world got bewildered knowing that a dog named 'Leika' too was sent in it into orbit making it the first living creature ever to do so.On May 15 1958, 'Sputnik 3' was launched with a lot of instruments fitted on them, though other than the Russians nobody knew what precisely those were.When the Russians sent their cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space for the first time three years later, on April 12,1961 they sincerely thought that the Americans were left much behind in the race. Russians were proved wrong.In another 8 years thereafter, the Americans could make a human walk on the moon for the first time as a befitting response to USSR! Neil Armstrong made the 'Giant Leap for Mankind' on July 20, 1969 as we all know!!
Slightly bigger than a basketball, with whiskers like features of a cat as antenna, it was the launch of 'Sputnik 1' by Russia (erstwhile USSR)- not US- that opened the doors of the space age, heralding the space race and space explorations which continue to this day.Remarkably this war has taken place during my time and many more players have joined since then-France,Germany,UK,Japan,China, India and more....Definitely this topic would not have come to my mind, if India had not made the mission Chandrayaan 3, becoming the first country to soft land a satellite successfully recently on the southern polar region of the moon.I am trying to take stock of how this race had started historically than scientifically especially for the reading of youngsters and old timers alike, including my grand daughters Maria and Serah...who will understand well later, if not now....A must read...