50 years plus ago

From: Col Maybury (cma45714@bigpond.net.au)
Date: Wed Jan 23 2008 - 07:33:42 UTC

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    I am with Greg in remembering Sputnik. I seem to remember incredulity in our 
    press
    and around the world. It is a con trick some said. The Russians said," 
    Listen its beeping,"
    and a lone UK ham picked it up. On the next pass 43 picked it up and on the 
    next 1,000
    or some such. It was UP there. The world had changed forever.  Regards, 
    Col.
    
    
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Col Maybury" <cma45714@bigpond.net.au>
    To: "Greg Roberts" <grr@telkomsa.net>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 6:26 PM
    Subject: Re: 50 years plus ago
    
    
    > Hi Greg,
    >             Small world? I was 20 at the time and this is what I wrote to 
    > Russell. Please excuse the date????
    > Regards,  Col.
    >
    >
    > Hi Russell,
    >                I am from Newcastle NSW Australia and in 1957 I was a young
    > soldier at an army camp, 50 miles, south of Melbourne, called Balcombe. In
    > Aug, I think it was we read that Sputnik, there was no number then, was
    > coming over Melbourne, Victoria, from the south so in the cold dark winter
    > night about 400 soldiers, on Survey Hill, watched that tiny silver star 
    > rise
    > out of the Great Southern Ocean and travel across us to the North. Lofty
    > Norris the camp clown said, in the stunned silence " To think that I have
    > seen the day when man would conquer the stars," and 400 people applauded.
    >
    > However it went to his head, the fame I mean. A few weeks later he went
    > alone into the bar of the Dava Lodge Hotel told the barman he wanted to
    > break his whisky drinking record and downed 19 nips of scotch and 
    > staggered
    > out. They found him stiff and cold and dead in the car park next morning.
    >
    > No one who was there will ever forget Lofty, Sputnik, and the fact that we
    > in the military knew that anyone who could put that thing up there could
    > also drop it. On us.  A wonderful unique memory.  Regards,  Col.
    >
    >
    > ----- Original Message ----- 
    > From: "Greg Roberts" <grr@telkomsa.net>
    > To: <SeeSat-D@satobs.org>
    > Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 5:14 PM
    > Subject: 50 years plus ago
    >
    >
    >> Morning
    >>
    >> The bit about satellite observing 50 years ago prompted
    >> me to dig into some old records and as far as I can determine
    >> I made my first satellite observation around 7.42pm South
    >> African Standard Time (17:42 UT) on the 10 October 1957
    >> when the rocket of Sputnik 1 passed over my home- at that
    >> time Glencoe in Natal, South Africa. It was a bright easy
    >> naked eye object and at the time I was a few weeks short of
    >> my 18th birthday. Predictions were supplied by the then
    >> Union Astronomer, Dr.W.S.Finsen of the Union Observatory,
    >> ( which I joined as a professional astronomer in 1969 by
    >> which time it had been renamed the Republic Observatory)
    >>
    >> I made my first radio observations of Sputnik 1 around
    >> about the same date(-Oct 1957.)
    >>
    >> Even with fantastic advances in medicine etc I am reasonably
    >> confident I will not be around to celebrate my 100th year of
    >> observing satellites :-))
    >>
    >> Cheers
    >> Greg.
    >>
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    >>
    > 
    
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