The future began 50 years ago today. I should probably make a long post about what the launching of Sputnik meant — for one thing, it directly led to my becoming a physicist instead of, say, a doctor or engineer (though an engineer might actually have worked in the space program). It also gave a big impetus to the fledgling semiconductor industry, as the US needed light-weight satellites to go on its relatively small rockets. As the Washington Post pointed out, Sputnik also lead to the founding of DARPA, which became ARPA, and, before becoming DARPA again formed something called ARPAnet. Wonder what happened to that?
Anyway, here's NASA's version of the day that changed the world.