Technology in the News Today
Born on this Day in History: October 4, 1923 - Actor Charlton Heston made his film debut in the 1941 production of Peer Gynt. His physique and deep voice landed him some of the most heroic roles in the history of motion pictures: Planet of the Apes, The Ten Commandments, and Ben-Hur (1959, Oscar). He also directed for film and television, including Antony and Cleopatra. He was married to Lydia Marie Clarke from 1944 until his death in 2008.
On this Day in History: October 4, 1957 - The Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" with its launch of Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for "satellite," was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. Sputnik had a diameter of 22 inches and weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour and 36 minutes. Traveling at 18,000 miles an hour, its elliptical orbit had an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 584 miles and a perigee (nearest point) of 143 miles. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by amateur radio operators. Those in the United States with access to such equipment tuned in and listened in awe as the beeping Soviet spacecraft passed over America several times a day. In January 1958, Sputnik's orbit deteriorated, as expected, and the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere.