Thursday, October 13, 2011

THE SKY IS FALLING: a Walk on the Wild Side with DARPA and the Air Force, Postscript.


As we saw over the last few posts, one of the things that people were trying to use to write off the Connecticut fall[s] of 1960 was the soviet satellite Sputnik IV. Well, it was still up there alive and well. However "what goes up must come down" [unless we're talking about anti-gravity], so Sputnik IV ultimately did too. Below is the SAO/Moonwatch article announcing proudly a surprising success witnessing the act.

So... good for them. When did that satellite come down? Ah, the night of September 4th-5th, 1962.

Wait... When did the Hartford fall happen? September 4th? Now just a cotton-pickin' minute!! YOU laughing at me again, Universe!!??



1 comment:

  1. Well...this subject is a little complicated because "Sputnik 4" wasn't one single object. It was a prototype of the Vostok manned space capsule. Space historian Sven Grahn has a super detailed article here -

    http://www.svengrahn.pp.se/histind/Sputnik4/Sputnik4.html

    The reentry date he gives is 15 Oct 1965! These discrepancies might be because the capsule fired its retrorocket in the wrong direction, going into a lopsided and higher orbit, and then presumably the spherical capsule section automatically separated from the retrorocket module. The second stage of the rocket may also have been in orbit as well. So any of these components might have reentered separately over a long span of time because of their different drag profiles. Back then they might not have made the distinction about which part was what (at least in the media) - they might have said any of this stuff was "Sputnik IV".

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