Computers and Space Exploration

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The Soviet Union’s successful launch of two Sputnik satellites in the fall of 1957 came as a shock to many Americans. Although the US intelligence community was not surprised, ordinary Americans were, and the two launches demonstrated without any doubt that the Soviet Union had a lead over the US not only in satellites, but in booster rockets, which could deliver weapons as well. Among the responses to Sputnik was the founding of agencies, one an arm of the US Defense Department, the other a civilian agency. One was the (Defense) “Advanced Research Projects Agency,” or “ARPA,” [...]