Information sharing was normal in the global scientific community, but when it came to rockets, normal rules didn’t apply. If the details got passed along to civilian scientists, there was no telling where that intel might end up…
But for many Americans, the Eisenhower just wasn’t moving fast enough. Sputnik was still orbiting! The Soviets were winning! Eisenhower downplayed Sputnik,calling it “one small ball in the air,” but privately he was worried.
The U.S. had the ability to beat the Soviets to space. But they didn’t. And Eisenhower wanted to know why.
Warning: this episode is packed with as much explosive power as is packed in the warhead of a ballistic missile.
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