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Monday was the 65th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1.
It has been called the “shock of the century.” This shock grew over the next few days and was a major crisis for the Eisenhower Administration. For the people working on the Minitrack tracking system of Project Vanguard, there was the problem that it was set up to track satellite signals at the International Geophysical Year approved frequency of 108 MHz. Sputnik sent out signals at 20 and 40 MHz. Thus, the Mintrack system needed to be modified ASAP. Marty Votaw worked for my father on this. He recalled in 2008:
The Vanguard program was run on paid overtime from the beginning of the program. On Wednesday [October 2nd, 1957] at work, a memo came out that said there will be no paid overtime after Friday. And I thought “Phew!” we are going to get some time off. And Friday came, I went home from work tired, and, we had company that night, I sat down to dinner and the phone rang. And Roger [Easton] says, “They launched Sputnik.” And I said, “Good, now we know what can be done.” He said, “You don’t understand; we’ve got to track it.” And I said, “Can I eat supper first?” He said, “Well, yeah, but come back right afterwards.”