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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p241

guard), John Townsend, and Herbert Friedman (of the Naval Research Laboratory and a member of the USNC).

When the Soviet embassy's party began (page 21) on the evening of October 4, 1957, did Anatoli Blagonravov know that Sputnik had been launched? William Pickering thinks not. John Townsend doesn't know, but he says that Homer Newell (scientific program coordinator for Project Vanguard), who was with them, was convinced that Blagonravov did know.

My physical description of Blagonravov comes from reports in the New York Times during the week of the conference (page 22). I'm guessing that he drank vodka.

My description of William Pickering is from my own observations (page 22).

Information about Vanguard came mainly from my interview with Milton Rosen and was bolstered by articles and papers he gave me, including one by John Pierce describing how satellites might be used for telecommunications, one that Rosen sent on 3 March 1955 describing the utility of the Viking rocket for a satellite launch vehicle, and a memo on the same date from John Mengel and Roger Eastman outlining Minitrack.

A considerable amount of useful information about Vanguard can also be found in Green's and Lomask's book and in the NASA History Office see notes for the prologue. Green and Lomask give details of the cases and of the rival merits of the Projects Orbiter and Vanguard proposals, including details of the miniaturization to be found in Vanguard page 26.

Milton Rosen told me that van Braun asked for a chance to make a second presentation of Project Orbiter to the Stewart committee, and of the anxiety with which he (Rosen) watched the presentation and the disbelief and elation felt by the NRL team when they learned that the committee had backed Project Vanguard (page 26). My interview with William Pickering and his oral history, given to Mary Terry for the archives of the California Institute of Technology, provide


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

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