60 years ago the newspapers of the west screamed that the communists had conquered space while the ‘free world’was still grounded. In fact what they missed was the fact that this was a victory of not just a nation or her people but a victory for all of manking. The fact that we can now reach skies is still not a small feat.
The celebration of this marvel propelled human understanding of almost ever aspect of science to a new level. Almost all technology that we use today is a direct descendant of the space race this event ensued. The engineering that stretched the limits of theoretical science can very well be a subject of next big bang theory episode, still the event remain grossly under rated.
Our schools – that teach volumes wars and conflicts over almost all our schooling life – give only passing mentions to the such true accomplishments of humans. We have had thousands of rocket launches since, hundreds of satellites guide us everyday, and perhaps one day our entire species will find refuge in the endless expanse of cosmos, but nothing can take away the fact that it was with Sputnik that it all started.