Sputnik’s forebears

Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of Sputnik, and the press was full of stories on the occasion. NPR even told me that Sputnik was the indirect father of my iPod. All that is well and good, and the Russians deserve the credit they receive for their accomplishments, but I think it’s worth pointing out the debt the Russian (and of course the American) space program owe to the Germans before them. With that in mind, enjoy a few clips of the early days of rocketry.






I will add, because in this day and age it seems I must, that I trust my readers can distinguish between German technology and Nazi ideology. Many of these videos’ pages on YouTube have horrid comments on them – of course I don’t point to them to endorse or condone the regime under which this work came to light.

[Via the superlative Ares]


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