Something New Under the Sun,
Satellites and the beginning of the Space Age.

Copyright for notes, sources and acknowledgements: Copernicus, (Springer-Verlag - New York).


I was new to historical research when I wrote these notes. I applied a journalist's understanding to my work, only realising slowly that an historian takes a more deeply contextualised approach. These notes, therefore, are deliberately not a conventional bibliography. In parts they are the story behind the story I extracted from many different sources, in part they reveal my self-taught research methodology and are also, in part, the story of me discovering the practicalities of being an historian. In particular I learned a little of the strengths and weaknesses of evidence, something I applied when I researched EUMETSAT's archives for a history of that organisation's satellites.

During my research one of my most fruitful professional relationship was with David Whalen who, toward the end of his career in industry, had decided to take a doctorate and was studying at the George Washington University in Washington DC. He and I had many informed discussions. He was able to take advantage of the material I had collected about communication satellites with the aid of a grant from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. In turn I am grateful to him for making available to me for my, analysis, the material he had collected, and for his insights. These exchanges of material, and our discussions, were valuable to both of our separate analyses.

I am also looking for a home for my taped interviews with some of the pioneers of application satellites. These men were the Edisons and Marconis of application satellites. Should any institution teaching the history of science and technology have an interest in these tapes and supporting research material I would be glad to itemise and donate the tapes and/or papers.

Without the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York I would not have been able to track down the many sources that I did for this book. Helen Gavaghan.