Alberta’s Historic Places in the Space Age

While it may not look like much from this 2006 photo, Alberta’s Newbrook Observatory played a key role in the “space race” of the twentieth century.

The field station’s listing on the Alberta Register of Historic Places recounts how on “October 4, 1957, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) astounded the world by announcing the successful launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to be sent into space. Less than a week later, Art Griffen, resident scientist at the Newbrook Observatory, took the first North American photograph of Sputnik, confirming the Russians’ claim. The news of the launch sent shockwaves around the world.”

The Newbrook Observatory was designated in 1995 as a Provincial Historic Resource.

Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services

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