Everybody knows that the launch of Sputnik was born out of the Cold War. With the launch's 50th anniversary this week, Boris Chertok, one of the founders of the Soviet space program, and other veterans recently told the behind-the-scenes story of how it was launched--it was not the grand coordinated effort we were all led to believe.
In a charming piece from AP, Chertok, 95, gives full voice to his pride at the pivotal role he played in the history of space exploration. Here's a truffle quote any engineer worth his salt would appreciate:
Each of these first rockets was like a beloved woman for us. We were in love
with every rocket, we desperately wanted it to blast off successfully. We would
give our hearts and souls to see it flying.
Read the whole thing, including why the Soviet's didn't think they could compete with the US in the race to the moon.