NASA in the Second Space Age: Exploration, Partnering, and Security

Photo Credit: NASA
The launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the dawn of the space age set off a frenetic competition between the Soviet Union and the United States. In the years that followed, both nations developed and orbited military satellites with increasingly sophisticated capabilities for intelligence collection, communications, and missile warning—capabilities largely intended to support strategic nuclear forces. For more than three decades the competition between these two superpowers was relatively stable, marked by notable periods of cooperation and engagement. Since the end of the Cold War, however, a gradual change has been under way, driven in part…

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