NOVA - Season 35, Episode 4 - Rotten Tomatoes

Sputnik Declassified

EPISODE:

Episode Info

For many around the world, the October 1957 launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik represented a pivotal event that single-handedly gave rise to the global Cold War. In America, the satellite prompted government leaders to dramatically escalate spending on both space exploration and military. Additional research, however, suggests that Sputnik may not have been as much of a surprise as the media and press traditionally indicated. The documentary NOVA: Sputnik Declassified investigates the basis for these claims, including the accounts that Nazi employ-turned-NASA rocket scientist Wernher von Braun performed satellite launch experiments in the U.S. a year before Sputnik, President Dwight Eisenhower's desire to launch a satellite to spy on the Russians, and extended pre-Sputnik discussions about how the U.S. should kick-start the space race.

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