Sputnik 1 launch anniversary; motion picture of its rocket in orbit

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2014 11:51:18 -0400
Sputnik 1 was launched 57 years ago, giving birth to the space age and our hobby.

Last year, I published a video of what may be the only surviving motion picture of Sputnik 1's rocket body in orbit,
available here along with the latest revision of the story behind it:


As discussed in Section 4, the project was an early demonstration of electro-optical satellite tracking with a highly
sensitive TV camera tube, long before the technology was practical.

I am continuing to research the history of the film, in particular the Bendix-Friez Lumicon image intensifier used to
capture it. Section 5 reports much of what I have learned to-date; however, in the not too distant future I hope to
report on its use aboard the submarine USS Skate in support of its historic mission to surface at the pole, in March
1959. I am also researching the testing and development it underwent for military night-vision use and for missile
tracking (primarily on the eastern range).

Ted Molczan

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Received on Sat Oct 04 2014 - 10:52:06 UTC

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