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Did Beatniks Find Sputnik?

5 Oct 2011, 01:00 UTC
Did Beatniks Find Sputnik?
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Today October 4 is 54th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. Sunday I found a replica of Sputnik hanging in the main hall of Washington's National Air and Space Museum. The replica hangs alongside the original Spaceship One and X-1. The place of honour is well-deserved, for Sputnik was our first step into Space.On Broadway in San Francisco's North Beach is the Beat Museum. The museum, slightly smaller than NASM, is devoted to the Beat Generation poets and writers such as Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. They gathered nearby at City Lights Bookstore and Cafe Vesuvio. The Beat movement began shortly after Sputnik orbited the Earth. Legend tells that San Francisco columnist Herb Caen coined the term Beatnik in response to Sputnik. Among its books and artifacts, the Beat Museum also displays a replica of Sputnik. Another fascinating story has that the Beatniks has located remains of Sputnik!Sputnik was presumed to have burned up on reentry around January 4, 1958. The exact date and location are unknown, for missile tracking systems as we know them had not been completed at the time. In November 2006 a man wandered into the Beat Museum with a strange story. ...

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