(With respect to Mr J Bond Johnson)

- Don't look now Major Marcel
but I think Mr J Bond is taking your photo!
  - That's ok, I'm sure it's not a weather balloon, or it wasn't when I last looked!
(And then it was - allegedly)


History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world's first artificial satellite was about the size of a basketball, weighed only 183 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.


The spacecraft contained radio equipment, a tracking transmitter, and telemetering system, five different sets of scientific devices for studying interplanetary space, including a magnetometer A Magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength of magnetic fields. Earth's magnetism varies from place to place and differences in the Earth's magnetic field (the magnetosphere) can be caused by a couple of things:

The differing nature of rocks
The interaction between charged particles from the sun and the magnetsophere
Magnetometers are used in geophysical surveys to find deposits of iron because they can measure the magnetic pull of iron. Magnetometers are also used to detect archeological sites, shipwrecks and other buried or submerged objects.
..... Click the link for more information. , geiger counter A Geiger counter measures ionizing radiation. Geiger counters can detect photons, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, but not neutrons. The sensor is a Geiger-Müller tube, a gas-filled tube that briefly conducts electricity when a particle or photon of radiation briefly makes the gas conductive. The instrument amplifies this signal and displays it to the user, either as a current measurement (needle, lamp) or an audible click.
..... Click the link for more information. , scintillation counter A scintillation counter measures ionizing radiation. The sensor in a scintillation counter is called a scintillator and is usually made of either a specially doped crystal, Anthracene containing plastics or an organic liquid which fluoresces when struck by ionizing radiation. A sensitive photocell or photomultiplier tube measures the light from the crystal. The photocell is usually attached to an electronic amplifier and possibly other electronic equipment.
..... Click the link for more information. , and micrometeorite detector, and other equipment. The measurements obtained during this mission provided new data on the Earth's radiation belt and outer space, including the discovery that the Moon had no magnetic field and that a solar wind, a strong flow of ionized plasma emmanating from the Sun, streamed through interplanetary space.

Now, I think this is a gorgeous object. somewhat like a deep sea diving bell or helmet from the early days of Tin Tin and The Thomson Twins. cunningly crafted to sail through space and charmingly ufological in it's curvature - but also scarily like a sea mine.
Anyway, it did the job and America is still peeved.
Luna 1 and Luna 2 (or as the Russians called it - Lunatik) discovered that the radiation and magnetism of the Moon were not as we thought (see above).
America has since caught up but apparently are feeling threatened (!) and are urgently driving the Space Race competition, at the expense of the lives of other countries populations, or so it would seem by this (possibly propagandistic) SpaceWar and SpaceDaily site link I've found for you.

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