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From Russia, with news

Gargamuni Dasa: So it's very important to understand why Prabhupada came to America. And the first thing he did, he brought two hundred sets of books with him, of Bhagavatam sets, and some Easy Journey to Other Planets which he printed in 1958 or '59. He printed it when the Sputnik went up. The news came out that Sputnik; the Russians sent a little doggie in the space. And so at that time, he wrote Easy Journey to Other Planets.

In fact in my stay in Prabhupada's rooms in 1972 where I had to watch over his rooms, I found a steel trunk full of manuscripts written in Prabhupada's handwriting. And in those days to buy a book for writing a notebook was very expensive, five rupees. But for Prabhupada, if you read in his diary, he was only spending one rupee or a half a rupee a day on his maintenance - if you look in the Jaladuta diary. So for him to spend five rupees on a notebook was very expensive.

So in India in those days, you could buy used paper by the kilo. Usually they were newsletters from embassies. They used to come out with daily news printed in English on one side only. So you could buy maybe, one or two kilos of that paper, and use the backside for writing. So, it's ironic that Prabhupada chose the Russian embassy newsletters, where he got his news, because he didn't have a radio, and it's in Vrindavana. Who knows if there was even a newspaper? But he got his news from the Russian newsletters, and that's what. He used that news in his Back to Godhead articles.

Reference: SPF Interviews