Nobody gets a place in history for coming second. In October 2007 we celebrated 50 Years of The Space Age, commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1. I wrote about it, here and for Crikey (different pieces). I masturbated.
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of America’s first successful satellite launch — and I only just realised it now.
Apparently the US could’ve gotten something into orbit before the Commies, but they wanted to use an American rocket. The Juno 1 launch vehicle, based on German technology, was originally unsuited politically. Alas, the all-American Vanguard wasn’t up for it.