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Feb 14, 2022

For our 100th episode, we go back to our roots. Djamil, Virginia and Rudy sit down to discuss the launch of Sputnik, using Asif A. Siddiqi's The Red Rockets Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination 1853-1957 to ground the discussion. We talk about the intellectual origins of the Soviet space program in Cosmism, the figures in the space race, the science-from-below and from-above aspects of the space program, how the space program evolved through the eras of NEP, Five Year Plans, Purges and the Zhdanov doctrine, the influences of WW2 and Nazi Germany and the Cold War, and how the launch of Sputnik became a global event which started the Space Race. We finish by reflecting on 'science from below' in today's context, and on space exploration, its links to colonialism and our imaginaries.