Instapundit notes that Soviet space expert James Oberg supports Governor Palin’s comments on Sputnik:
I’m seeing up close how “Palin Derangement Syndrome” can compel otherwise intelligent people to foam at the mouth and babble nonsense to prove they’re right and she’s wrong. The historical view is that the early Soviet victories in the Space Race led to the US response of the Apollo program, whose triumph validated the superiority of US space technology — which had profound diplomatic, military, commercial, and cultural consequences. When Reagan challenged the USSR with Strategic Defense in the 1980s, Apollo had given that challenge credibility — and the same pundits in the West and in Russian who pooh-poohed SDI had also pooh-poohed the odds of Apollo working. Proven wrong once, they lost credibility when Gorbachyov had to decide when/.if to pull the plug on the USSR’s own hideously expensive space weapons programs (eg, Polyus-Skif and Buran). Soviet leadership came to believe, rightly or wrongly, that SDI was a lethal threat to them, based on the success of Apollo that had only been made possible by the stinging US defeats in the early Space Race, It’s more complicated, but the essence is, Palin was right: the Soviets sowed the seed of their own collapse by setting off the Space Race.