Click the image for the full story.
I wonder how many people back then would have believed how the Space Race and the Cold War ended. Neither with bangs. Well, except on occasion. I wonder how many of those people would gape in disbelief if they learned how little we made of our Man in Space investments?
On the other hand, we have a wide diversity of robotic probes exploring our Solar System and the universe beyond, and indeed those are more direct descendants of Sputnik after all.