News Release

50th Anniversary of Sputnik on Thursday

On October 4, 1957, the launch of Sputnik had enormous impacts on U.S. society. Fifty years later, the anniversary on Thursday provides an opportunity to assess those impacts — and to reassess the political priorities and hopes for technology in present-day American life.

NORMAN SOLOMON
Writing about Sputnik in his new book Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State, Solomon concludes that the U.S. response to the Soviet triumph in space 50 years ago set the United States on a destructive course of misdirected priorities that continues today.

“Society’s crash course on a science trajectory was about learning and training to think in ways that would boost the quest for advanced technologies,” the book says. But the extreme emphasis on channeling scientific efforts in regimented directions caused many young Americans “to look at the customary straight-and-narrow path as a grim forced march.”

An excerpt from Made Love, Got War was published on the Web yesterday.

Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, will be available for a limited number of interviews while in Washington, D.C., later this week for the 50th anniversary of Sputnik.
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BRUCE GAGNON
Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which on Thursday begins a “Keep Space for Peace Week.”

Gagnon said today: “U.S. military planning documents have long spelled out a vision of dominating the Earth from ‘the high ground’ of space for military and economic advantage. The U.S. government — through the Clinton and Bush years — has been among the very few votes at the United Nations against assuring that space will be non-weaponized. The Global Network has been organizing to change U.S. policy so that the arms race does not move to the heavens.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.