Artificial satellites, Astronautics, History

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SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN, Satellites and the Beginning of the Space Age
Copyright for the book, including research notes, Copernicus/Springer Verlag (New York)

History of artificial satellites
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p236

rockets, i.e., those that carry instruments aloft but fall back to Earth without entering orbit.

During the fourth meeting, on January 14 and 15, 1955, Harold Wexler spoke of gaps in the meteorological data, and Homer Newell, in the absence of James Van Allen, told the committee that the sounding rocketry work would be undertaken entirely by the agencies of the Department of Defense, provided that the National Science Foundation secured the necessary funding from Congress.

By this time, much of the debate concerning the importance to the United States of adopting a satellite program as part of the IGY had moved to the USNC's executive committee and to a working group of the technical panel on rocketry (see notes and sources for chapter three) as well as to the National Security Council.

Reports on Leonid Sedov's announcement at the sixth meeting of the International Astronautical Federation in Copenhagen appeared in the Baltimore Sun as well as in other newspapers, dateline August 2, 1955 (page 6).

Chapter one: New Moon

Chapter one, in as much as it refers to Sergei Korolev, is based on secondary sources. Anyone interested in an account based on primary sources should look for a biography by Jim Harford that was published this fall (1997) by John Wiley and Sons.

Even the secondary sources about Sergei Korolev are sparse, and in each case it was essential to consider carefully who wrote it, where the author was at the time, and when and where the account of Korolev was published. I also attempted to establish whether any given anecdote had similar sources or whether it came from genuine independent accounts. I have allowed my imagination to have more play in this chapter than in the rest of the book.


Despite being the chief designer of cosmic rocket systems, Korolev was unknown in the West at the time of the launch of Sputnik (page 8). In a 1959 bibliography on Soviet missiles and state personnel (Library of Cong-


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Page text content checked against original in print by HG on 1st May, 2013.

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