Sputnik 4 and the MAS

In 1957, the former Soviet Union shocked the United States by the launch of the first artificial satellite called Sputnik.  This awakened the US and the so-called "space race" was born.  The Soviets would go on to launch more satellites and the 4th such mission was Korabl-Sputnik 1, but in the west it was known as Sputnik 4.  Launched on May 15, 1960, and intending it to land back to Earth safely after 4 days, the mission would encounter a problem leaving it in orbit until it finally fell in Wisconsin on September 5, 1962.

There is a great account of this on the RoadsideAmerica.com website and the the MAS Observatory is mentioned because we do in fact have one of the two replicas there were made of the original big piece that fell in Manitowoc.

The MAS was the recipient of one of these replicas presumably because our observatory headed by Ed Halbach made satellite observations through the Project Moonwatch (aka Operation Moonwatch) program which provided needed orbit information which allowed the prediction of where the satellite fell.

At the same time, other fragments of the satellite came down and one of them was on a golf course in West Bend.

Ed Halbach verified that these were part of the fallen satellite and gave this documentation to Mr. Williams in 1962.  The pieces and this documentation were donated to the MAS by T. E. Williams son, Tom in 2014.