Michael D'Antonio is the author of many acclaimed books, including Atomic Harvest, Fall from Grace, Tin Cup Dreams, Mosquito, and The State Boys Rebellion. His work has also appeared in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Discover, and many other publications. Among his many awards is the Pulitzer Prize, which he shared with a team of reporters for Newsday.
Historian Michael D'Antonio discussed his new book A Ball, a Dog and a Monkey, which chronicles the rollicking start of the space race between the United States and Soviet Union.The first artificial satellite to be put into space was Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in October 1957. D'Antonio said people of the time claimed they could see the basketball-sized spacecraft as it orbited the planet transmitting its famous "beep-beep-beep" radio signal. Some worried the satellite was being used for spying, he added.Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft launched into space and the first to carry a living passenger, a dog named Laika. Although Laika died within a few orbits, D'Antonio explained, she proved humans could survive being launched into space.Americans also used animals to investigate the biological effects of space travel. D'Antonio shared the story of Gordo, the first monkey successfully launched into space by the U.S., as well as how black bears were utilized f ... More »Host: Ian Punnett