Cartoons about Sputnik, Launched 60 Years Ago #SaturdayMorningCartoons

On October 4th, 1957, in the heart of the Cold War, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik 1 into an elliptical low orbit. For folks in the United States at the time, it was terrifying. The Soviets could be observing our most intimate secrets, or weaponizing space, or finding alliances with powerful extraterrestrial races.

From The New Yorker:

“The launch of Sputnik 1 had a ‘Pearl Harbor’ effect on American public opinion,” the nasa historian Roger Launius has written. “It was a shock, introducing the average citizen to the space age in a crisis setting.”

And it was announced, in at least one instance, by a cartoon:

Anxiety surrounding Sputnik led to some other odd cultural responses, including this cartoon from Mel-O-Toons about Omnicron, Nudnicron, and Sputnik:

More about Sputnik 1

Mel-O-Toons

The New Yorker: “Is America Facing Another Sputnik Moment”


Each Saturday Morning here at Adafruit is Saturday Morning Cartoons! Be sure to check our cartoon and animated posts both nostalgic and new that inspire makers of all ages! You’ll find how-tos for young makers, approaches to learning about science and engineering, and all sorts of comic strip and animated Saturday Morning fun! Be sure to check out our Adafruit products featuring comic book art while you’re at it!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 27,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — Hot glue’s undo button

Electronics — Servo Pulses

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython 6.2.0 released, and More! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — ESP Earrings, RP2040 WiFi, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — Mechanical Coin Bank

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — NEW PRODUCT – Adafruit ItsyBitsy RP2040

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



1 Comment

  1. ‘The New York Times: “Is America Facing Another Sputnik Moment”’

    Um… that was actually the New Yorker.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.