This book explores Russia's stunning success of ushering in the space age by launching Sputnik and beating the United States into space. It also examines the formation of NASA, the race for human exploration of the moon, the reality of global satellite communications, and a new generation of scientific spacecraft that began exploring the universe. An introductory essay by Pulitzer Prize winner Walter A. McDougall sets the context for Sputnik and its significance at the end of the twentieth century.
'This well-documented book is…highly recommended for all readers who want a balanced view of historical developments in the space race and its associated politics. All levels.' - W. E. Howard III, formerly, Universities Space Research Association (Choice)
Walter A. McDougall Introduction: Was Sputnik Really a Saltation?
Part 1: Roger D. Launius Space Flight in the Soviet Union
Part 2: Robert W. Smith A Setting for the International Geophysical Year
Part 3: Ramifications and Reactions
Glenn P. Hastedt Epilogue: Sputnik and Technological Surprise