Launch of Sputnik commemorated Oct. 4

The 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and the beginning of the space age will be commemorated Thursday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m. in 210 Clifford Hall. The 45-minute program is sponsored by the Department of Space Studies at the J.D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

The program will include rare footage of the early Soviet space program including the launch of Sputnik itself. Brief remarks will be given by David Whalen, chair of the Department of Space Studies.

According to Whalen, “Neither the United States or the Soviet Union cared much about space. Neither government had made a commitment to space. But Sputnik changed all that. If it had not been for Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin’s manned orbital flight in the spring of 1961, it is highly unlikely that the Apollo program would have been funded. Man would not have gone to the Moon. On Oct. 4 we will celebrate human ingenuity 50 years ago. We will celebrate the achievements of the Space Age.”

The program is free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by the Department of Space Studies. It is part of the 20th anniversary activities of the Department of Space Studies, which offers a Master of Science degree, and was established in 1987 through the efforts of John Odegard and Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot of Apollo 11 and second man to walk on the Moon.

Since its inception, more than 600 students have received their graduate degrees in Space Studies. The degree is offered on-campus and through the distance learning network. The department is the only program of its kind in the world because it is multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary in nature offering both technical and policy courses.

For additional information contact David Whalen at 1-800-828-4274 or 777-2480.