Here is a history of the development of military missiles and space travel from World War II to the American visits to the Moon in 1969-1972. It stresses the relationship between the early stages of space exploration and the arms race, and that a dual path led to space flight. One was the development of unmanned long-range war rockets, the other, less often noted, was the rocket-powered research plane. The first path led through the intercontinental ballistic missile to the first artificial satellites and space capsule; the latter, more uniquely American, through the X-series and Skyrocket rocket planes to the X-15, and ultimately to the Space Shuttle. The early part of the book focuses on the Soviet-American race to develop the ICBM in the 1950s, and the first satellites, with particular attention paid to the events and reactions that followed the flight of Sputnik I in 1957 and the subsequent missile gap era.
About the Author:
ALAN J. LEVINE is a historian specializing in Russian history, international relations, and World War II. He has published numerous articles about World War II and the Cold War and is author of The Soviet Union, The Communist Movement and The World: Prelude to the Cold War (Praeger, 1990) and The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945 (Praeger, 1992).