October 13, 2020

Stuart Clark: The Space Age (1957)

In October 1957 the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 and the Space Age began. In this episode of Travels Through Time the astronomer and science writer Stuart Clark takes us back to the dramatic heart of this story.

We look at Sputnik’s brilliant engineer Sergei Korolev, witness the reaction to the launch in the United States, and then we head to the office of the American journalist Alexander Marshack, whose fascination with the night sky was about to propel him into the depths of time.

The scenes and characters mentioned in this episode feature in Stuart Clark’s new book, Beneath the Sky. To win a copy of this book as well as a striking colourised print from Jordan Lloyd of Colorgraph, sign up to our newsletter at tttpodcast.com

Stuart Clark's Beneath the Night: How the stars have shaped the history of humankind (Faber) is out now and available on Amazon.

Show notes

Scene One: 4 October, 1957, with Korolev for the launch of the first satellite Sputnik 1

Scene Two: October 1957, with future NASA engineer Homer Hickam in West Virginia as he looked up into the night sky, saw Sputnik and felt awe-struck inspiration

Scene Three: Late 1957, To be in the office of American journalist Alexander Marshack in the aftermath of the launch, as he tried to put things together and make sense of why humans wanted to ’touch’ the night sky

Memento: Korolev’s radio receiver


Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Dr Stuart Clark

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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