How has the perception of space for 61 year

Starting after the series “First” to watch “Mars,” I wondered how the flight of the Mars mission would be perceived in society. In both series, for some reason, they did not emphasize that the whole world clung to the screens and was watching this historical action. There was a feeling that if we live to see the launch of a manned mission to Mars, it will not become the same furore as the launch of the first satellite. The launch of Falcon Heavy on YouTube was watched by 2.3 million people this year, seemingly a lot, and this is the second place in the history of streams. But the first place, the jump from the stratosphere of Felix Baumgartner, was watched by 8 million people. Bright cosmic events act as a beacon that attracts people to itself. If their light does not call so strongly, it means that new people will not go to the space program? Not. Over the years, her perception has changed, and in general, everything will be fine. Only the meaning of the expression "rocket science" in English will have to be changed.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

Spectators watch STS-119 start, photo by Blake Estes
The world reaction to the launch of the first satellite was in a wide range from panic to euphoria, but it was very bright. For obvious reasons, we know best of all the US reaction — one of the two superpowers was in a very unpleasant situation. And it cannot be said that in the rest of the business the Americans were cloudless - in the summer the economic recession began, and after three years of growth in quotations, the Dow-Jones index fell from July to October 1957 by 21%. Social problems grew - for the first time since 1875, the Civil Rights Act was adopted, aimed at supporting racial equality and the desegregation of color in public schools (for an atmosphere of racial issues and space, see the Hidden Figures film). And here the Soviet satellite threw at once several challenges to a country that considered itself first in everything — scientific, technical, military, and a challenge to prestige.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

The first page of the New York Times is October 5th. On the second page there is even a photo of Tsiolkovsky
In the military sense, the analogy of the “dominant height” worked - the satellite orbit was perceived as a bridge from which the USSR was able to drop hydrogen bombs on anyone below. Cosmos seemed like a new battlefield,and if in modern times Great Britain was strong with ships, and in the middle of the 20th century, armada of bombers were a visible expression of the power of the United States, now the question arose of who will be strong in space. And if in the early days of the space era, US President Eisenhower tried to reassure the country, speaking of satellite security, then at the beginning of 1958 he outlined the same three challenges - the scientific and technical, military, and prestige facing the United States. As a result of the beginning of the space race, not only orders for military missiles, but also education expenses were increased, not only NASA, but also DARPA were created.
Public panic is probably best described in the memoirs of Stephen King:
We sat on chairs like mannequins and looked at the steward. He looked alarmed and painful - or maybe it was the blame for the lighting. We were guessing that the catastrophe made him stop the film in the most tense moment, but then the manager spoke, and the shaking in his voice confused us even more. “I want to inform you,” he began, “that the Russians have put a space satellite into orbit around the earth.” They called it ... "satellite". The message was greeted with absolute deathly silence.I remember very clearly: the terrible dead silence of the cinema hall was suddenly broken by a lonely cry, I do not know if it was a boy or a girl; the voice was full of tears and frightened anger: "Let's show the movie, liar!". The manager did not even look in the direction where the voice came from, and for some reason it was the worst of all. It was proof. Russians are ahead of us in space
Science fiction writer Arthur Clark, who said that the United States after the launch of the Soviet satellite turned into a secondary power, expressed changes in the self-consciousness of society. The waves generated by the first satellite, for example, led to the fact that the elaborate design of cars began to anger "our engineers at such a critical time spend time on frivolity," and the first satellite could well become one of the reasons for the failure of the Edsel car brand.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

1958 edsel
For some, the launch of a Soviet satellite became a real tragedy - Ain Rand, the novel Atlas Shrugged His shoulders, just a week later, postulated a creative and industrial catastrophe of a socialist society. The frustration of an immigrant from the USSR and the ardent anti-Communist Rand was so great that she began to argue that the USSR allegedly did not launch any satellite, much to the joy of the public.
Some interest in Sputnik was realized in an emotionally neutral fashion - music, dancing, cocktails, or even hairstyles, for example, Japanese ones.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

A frame from the video of Roscosmos TV
But there was also the opposite pole - for many people, the satellite became a bright asterisk of hope. Fantasy Ray Bradbury wrote:
That night, when Sputnik first drew the sky, I (...) looked up and thought about the predestination of the future. After all, that little light, rapidly moving from the edge to the edge of the sky, was the future of all mankind. I knew that although the Russians were beautiful in their endeavors, we would soon follow them and take our proper place in the sky (...). That light in the sky made mankind immortal. The earth still could not remain our haven forever, because one day it can expect death from cold or overheating. Humanity was ordered to become immortal, and that light in the sky above me was the first glare of immortality.
I blessed the Russians for their daring and anticipated the creation of NASA by President Eisenhower soon after these events.
And, very importantly, around the world, the satellite called for children. Surely there were hundreds and thousands, but the most famous is the story of two.Homer Hickam was born in 1943 in the American wilderness. In the best years, the town of Coalwood was inhabited by two thousand people, whose life was connected with the coal mine. It was possible to escape from there except through sporting success in school or military service, and Homer would be a miner like a father, but Sputnik changed everything.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

Hickam with friends and model of the rocket, photos from the family archive
Homer became interested in space, started making and launching model rockets with friends, won the National School Fair and got the opportunity to study at the university for free. After high school and military service, he began working at NASA, where he was involved in the construction of spacecraft and training astronauts. And in 1998, his memoirs "Rocket Boys" were released, in which they shot an excellent film "The October Sky".
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

Mike Mullein with a rocket model, photo from the official site
Richard "Mike" Mullein very vividly described how his life changed the launch of the first satellite. Born in 1945, Mullein in 1957 turned 12 years old. And he lived in Albuquerque, a city in a sparsely populated area with a desert climate. The absence of illumination allowed us to observe the stars, photograph them,and there were no problems finding a place without people and property that could fail to launch missile models. The desire to fly into space has become the core of Mike's life. In childhood, he wrote to NASA with the proposal to replace adult astronauts with lighter teenagers, which would save on the mass of spacecraft (of course, not offering his candidacy directly, but it was a rather transparent hint). Astigmatism put an end to the hope of getting into the astronaut squad by a test pilot. But fortunately, they created the Space Shuttle, which allowed people with glasses to be flown by non-piloting ships. Mullein got into the first set of space shuttle astronauts, made three flights and wrote absolutely adorable memoirs.
Subsequent cosmic events also attracted people. In 2016, the action “When Gagarin flew” took place, in which people's memories of April 12, 1961 were collected, you can watch a selection of interviews. In the memoirs of the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, it is mentioned that the landing of the Apollo 11 on the moon was the impetus for his passion for space. The influence of more recent events is hardly reflected in the memoirs because of the comparative youth of thosewho they influenced. But in general, and the events have become smaller, and the furore from them is clearly not so much as at the dawn of cosmonautics. This is logical - the first achievements were really the first steps into the unknown. Now there is more knowledge and it is difficult to do something that was not there at all before. Does this mean that space is no longer calling for new people? In the old ways - yes, but, fortunately, new trends have appeared.
The first is well illustrated by the following news:
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

Frame from ABC7 video
In early 2018, a helicopter channel ABC7News conducted a regular flight over the city of Alameda (California). Suddenly a real rocket was seen down below, and judging by the soot on the concrete, its engines were already tested here. It turned out to be the private space company Stealth Space, which, without any PR, was testing its Astra launch vehicle.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

Photo by Michael Howar / Spaceflight Insider
As if made on the knee design - the engines of the rocket Vector-R, also private production. But they are printed on a 3D printer and consist of only 15 parts. There are dozens of similar rocket startups around the world. And if 61 years ago, the launch of a satellite required the efforts of a superpower, now it can be done by several people who got a penny compared to the state budget and collected a rocket in the shop a little more advanced than the garage.
The second trend is illustrated by the private company Planet Labs, which has already launched more than one and a half hundred cubes of Dove / Flock with the task of ensuring a continuous survey of the entire earth's surface. The obtained data will then be processed using modern computer technology.
How has the perception of space changed in 61 years of a satellite, people, satellite, everything, very, rocket, man, maybe, more, launch, space, after, astronauts, first, space, launch, place, event, October

This graph shows the number of satellites launched by mass distribution. Black - light and ultra-light satellites weighing less than 100 kg. The sharply increased number of cubes is a consequence of the fact that not only private companies, but also universities and even schoolchildren can make and start a satellite.
General conclusion:Cosmos has become much closer to humans. Instead of perceiving the call of flying satellites far today, a person can become acquainted with astronautics in childhood, and at a quite serious level. Particularly lucky can even participate in the creation and launch of this spacecraft. And the abundance of space content may be interested in space even earlier. The daughter of my acquaintances, having accidentally seen a video tour of the ISS from Sunita Williams in two years, now instead of cartoons is watching space videos for the night.Of course, there is no guarantee that our descendants will read this fact at the beginning of the memoirs of an astronaut, scientist or engineer, but those who can potentially become interested in space have got a lot of opportunities. And that's great. Is that the English expression "rocket science", denoting something very complex, it seems outdated.
I expressed my thoughts on the same topic in a fresh lecture on Cosmonautics: From Romance to Realism.
P.S. World Space Week ends on October 10, do not forget to watch the "October Sky". Very inspirational movie.
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