How America responded to Sputnik
I have always known that Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the moon but I was oblivious of the circumstances that laid the foundation until I started reading the book ‘Start-Up Nation’ (the story of Israel’s Economic Miracle), as part of at least one book in a week challenge that I copied from my role model John Obidi.
Perspective is the key that will differentiate whether people who will maximize opportunities in what seems like a difficult issue or not.
The Soviet Union upstaged the United States by launching the first space satellite called SPUTNIK 1. That the Soviets could pull ahead in the space race stunned most Americans. But in retrospect, it was boon for the U.S Economy. It was a wake up call and America answered to it. Their response was to revise the school curricula to emphasize the teaching of Science and Math. America passed the 900 million dollars National Defense Education Act (about 8 billion in today’s dollars), providing scholarship, students loans and scientific equipment for schools.
A little over decade later, Neil Armstrong who was a beneficiary of the preceding things achieved the great feat of going to the moon. This concerted research and development campaign gave birth to entirely new businesses sectors with avionics and telecommunications, as well as the internet itself.
All these became a legacy of America’s response to SPUTNIK.
The book Start-Up Nation taught about how the Nation of Israel despite being under attack and surrounded by fierce enemies has been able to build a burgeoning economy and has the highest number of start-up companies in the world.
Friends it’s not what happens to you that is the problem, rather it is how you respond to it that matters. Perspective is the key that will differentiate whether people who will maximize opportunities in what seems like a difficult issue or not.