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Artificial satellites, Astronautics, History

GavaghanCommunications | Source material

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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p243

phoning the NSF at this stage, pushing for a decision on the satellite budget and seemingly unaware of the higher policy decisions in which the satellite program was caught.

Odishaw's letters and Joseph Kaplan's correspondence with Alan Waterman, the director of the National Science Foundation, and Declev Bronk, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, are in the correspondence files of the IGY archives at the NAS.

Details of the curtailment of the satellite program (page 30) in the year following President Eisenhower's announcement that it would go ahead are also to be found in the archives of the NAS. The USNC discussed the Earth satellite program at its tenth meeting on 13 July 1956. The minutes, classified as administratively confidential, say, "For reasons of economy, the Earth satellite program has been curtailed from 12 attempted launching to six." Hugh Odishaw drew the committee's attention to the need for confidentiality, "lest knowledge of the curtailment of the program should lead to an international loss of prestige by the U.S."

The interaction between the IGY and national security policy comes primarily from R. Cargill Hall, "The Eisenhower Administration and the Cold War, Framing American Astronautics to Serve National Security," in Prologue, Quarterly of the National Archives, spring 1996. It seems likely that the criteria that the Stewart Committee were given in order to decide between Projects Orbiter and Vanguard were chosen to ensure that the IGY could indeed be a "stalking horse" for the launch of a reconnaissance satellite.

Information about the Stewart Committee (page 25) can be found in the oral history by Homer Joe Stewart in the archives of the California Institute of Technology and in Vanguard - A History (NASA History Series SP4202), by Constance Green and Milton Lomask. Milton Rosen also gave me information about the way the Stewart Committee voted and the reasoning behind their decision.

Homer Joe Stewart was interviewed by John L. Greenberg on October 13 and 19 and November 2 and 9, 1982, for an oral history, which is in the archives of the California Institute of Technology.


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artificial, satellites, astronautics, technology, history, satellites, history, astronautics, astronautics, satellites, history, astronautics, politics.

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

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