OPINION

October 12, 1957

SPUTNIK: Paris, 11 – The human race has entered the dawn of a new age in which the impossible has become possible and the possible has become probable. The first artificial satellite has just completed its 100th orbit of the Earth, having covered 4.4 million kilometers in under a week. Discussions, not only among scientists but among the general population, have now turned to the possibility of voyages to the moon and Mars in a race between the two main superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, which many believe will probably be for the good of the Earth’s peoples. VON BRAUN’S FORECAST: Professor Wernher von Braun, a German scientist and father of the V2 rocket who is now an American citizen, had forecast that his military invention would one day lead to artificial satellites and the possibility of interplanetary travel. In July 1953, he had written: «The first partial solution to the problem of interplanetary navigation will be the construction of an artificial satellite. That first stage will also be the most difficult, from the point of view of technical implementation. (If that happens) the old dream of a voyage to the moon and the other planets will become a reality.»