Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A Sputnik Moment? - Taylor Dinerman

Some interesting history regarding Sputnik.


After Sputnik was launched on Oct. 4, 1957, President Eisenhower reacted calmly; he knew that by not complaining about the overflight of U.S. territory by the Soviet spacecraft, he was setting a precedent. He understood the significance of Sputnik in large part because in 1953, almost immediately after taking office, he had ordered work to begin on America’s first spy satellite, the WS-117. As the Russians were basking in the glow of their space triumph, Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald Quarles said that the Soviets “might have done us a good turn unintentionally, in establishing the concept of international freedom of space.” Three years later, when the first U.S. spy satellites successfully delivered pictures from deep inside the USSR, no one in Moscow denounced the Americans for violations of the sacred airspace of Mother Russia. The U.S. no longer needed to fly U-2 missions in order to look inside their borders.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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