Onetime rivals are now partners. a new exhibition and an imax film, "Mission to Mir", tell the story
Even over the babel of huge crowds in the National Air and Space Museum I hear an irritating little beep-beep-beep, the sound of Sputnik. That beep and the 1957 newspapers with their big black banners screaming that the Soviets had won the race into space introduce a fascinating new exhibition, "Space Race."
I remember, as an editor on a suburban California daily, watching the stream of wire copy pour out all that day, October 4, as a shocked America tried to understand that we no longer led the world in everything but had been beaten--beaten!--by Communists. I remember when San Francisco columnist Herb Caen soon afterward coined the word "beatnik." And I remember the terrible false rumor that swept the country, about a ham radio operator hearing voices from space, panicked voices speaking Russian, apparently a crew that had been shot out there and couldn't get back and were headed for deep space.
The other day I saw the latest Imax film, Mission to Mir, which …