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Sputnik-1. | Detlev van Ravenswaay
Space

The Inside Story of Sputnik's Effect on the US Space Program

An embarrassment for the US at the outset of the space race eventually gave way to a period of scientific diplomacy with Soviet researchers.

October 6, 2017
6:15 AM EDT
James Van Allen, center, the Iowa physicist and space pioneer whose successful January 1958 launch of the first American satellite into space, Explorer 1. | Image courtesy of the James Van Allen Papers, University Archives, Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries
Don Gurnett as an undergraduate in 1958, standing with Explorer IV. | Image courtesy of the F.W. Kent Collection, University Archives, Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries
Don Gurnett has taught and been engaged in space science at the UI for the past 50 years. | Tom Jorgensen