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Today Only: "Amazon Exclusive: The James Bond Collection + Spectre" for $119.99 (60% Off)
For one day only: "Amazon Exclusive: The James Bond Collection + Spectre" is at a one day special price. Offer valid on February 9, 2016, applies only to purchases of products sold by Amazon.ca, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the Amazon.ca site. Learn more.
On October 4, 1957, The Ussr Announced To An Unsuspecting World That It Had Launched The First Man-Made Object Ever To Successfully Orbit The Earth. Americans Were Stunned, Then Terrified. What Had Happened To Our Vaunted Academic And Technological Superiority? Were The Soviets Going To Overtake Us? Worst Of All, Could Their Satellites Be Used As Weapons Of Mass Destruction?The 1950S Had Been A Heady Time For Americans. Ours Was The Most Powerful Nation On Earth, The Leader Of The Free World. We Were The Best, The Richest, The Smartest And We Knew It Down To Our Very Core. Then Came Sputnik. Sputnik Mania, From History, Vividly Recalls The Impact The Satellite Had On The American Psyche, And How The Shock Catapulted The Nation From Complacency Into Action. Within The Year, Nasa Was Born, States Instituted Massive Educational Reforms, And A New Breed Of Researchers Rocket Scientists Focused On A Single Critical Goal: Winning The Space Race.
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The USSR's successful October 1957 launch of Sputnik 1 caused some panic in the US. Potential spying capabilities and more importantly, concern that Soviet missile technology had far outpaced our own led to two hurried launchings of Vanguard rockets. Both of these attempts ended in flaming disaster.
When a month later Sputnik 2 safely carried a dog into orbit, anxieties here increased. President Eisenhower appeared on national TV to assure Americans these two satellites hurtling around the globe every hour and a half were harmless and that much had been learned about space because of them. He didn't however mention the implications of superior rocket technology on the ability to deliver nuclear weapons from Europe to North America. That was being said elsewhere, and loudly.
Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Soviets' initial satellite missions, SPUTNIK MANIA accurately documents in 90 minutes the events, reaction and response to the first man-made objects placed in Earth orbit. Narrated by Liev Schreiber (portrayer of Orson Welles in RKO 281 - The Battle Over Citizen Kane, from 1999), additional commentary is provided by TV reporters Daniel Schorr and Jay Barbree, plus Nikita Khrushchev's son Sergei and Ike Eisenhower's granddaughter, Susan. Archive footage of many principal players is also included.
The one-hour PBS "NOVA" documentary SPUTNIK DECLASSIFIED (2007) also explores this subject in depth.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(7.8) Sputnik Mania (2007) - Liev Schreiber/Sergei Khrushchev/Susan Eisenhower/Daniel Schorr/Jay Barbree/Paul Dickson (archive footage of: Nikita Khrushchev/Dwight D. Eisenhower/Richard Nixon/Werner Von Braun/Estelle Taylor)
This DVD features President Eisenhower, whose political opponents accused him of being insufficiently concerned about the Soviet successes. It also includes his famous "military-industrial complex" speech. The commentator credits the fact that both Eisenhower and Khrushchev were of military backgrounds for their avoidance of WWIII. Another politician featured is Hubert Humphrey.
Footage is included of newspapers reporting Sputnik, of the young David Brinckley and Walter Cronkite, of telescopes set up to see the new "Russian moon", the outrage over the dog Laika sent to space to die in Sputnik II, the growing panic of the USA having lost her leadership and prestige, the awareness of danger to the free world, the humiliating failure of Vanguard 1 ("flopnik", "kaputnik"), the heady success Explorer 1, of Werner von Braun and his efforts, and of the success in heading off the impending militarization of space in favor of civilian space exploration.