Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space Leadership
|March 10 2010|
Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space Leadership is a study of the United States Air Force in space. Of all the military services, the Air Force has been preeminently involved for the past fifty years in initiating, developing, and applying the technology of space-based systems in support of the nation's national security. Yet there has been no single-volume overview of the Air Force space story to serve as an introduction and guide for interested readers.
This book tells the story of the origins and development of the United States Air Force's space program from its earliest beginnings in the post Second World War period to its emergence as a critical operational presence in the Persian Gulf War.
In this book, the author embarks on a study of the Air Forceís long involvement in initiating, developing, and applying the technology of space-based systems in support of the nationís security. His analysis ranges from America's space and missile efforts prior to the launch of the Soviet sputniks in 1957, right up to the coming of age of military space employment in the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
The author offers an assessment of the Air Force's leadership position in the ongoing debate over service roles and missions and its vision for the nation's space program entering the new century.
This book is a slightly revised edition of a book originally published by Air Force Space Command in 1997.
PDF format, 23MB, 422Pages.
Air Force Space Command
In 1946, the authors of the first Air Force-sponsored Project Rand (Research and Development) study on the feasibility of artificial earth satellites aptly characterized the challenge and uncertainty surrounding the country's initial foray into the space age. Postwar skeptics dismissed proposed satellite and missile projects as excessively costly, technologically unsound, militarily unnecessary, or simply too "fantastic," while space advocates themselves remained hard pressed to convince opponents and stifle their own self-doubts. Space represented a "new ocean," a vast uncharted sea yet to be explored.
The dawn of the space age brought many questions but offered few answers. Could satellites be successfully produced, launched, and orbited? If technically feasible, what military-or civilian scientific-functions should they perform? Howshould space functions be organized? What space policy would best integrate space into the national security agenda? What should be the Air Force role in space?
In view of the uncertainties involved, the period from the close of the Second World War to the launching of the first Sputnik in the fall of 1957 proved to be the conceptual phase of the nation's space program. Only by the mid-195os, a full decade after the 1946 Rand study, could observers identify two sides of a national space policy that would characterize the American space program from the Eisenhower presidency to the present day. One side comprised a civilian satellite effort, termed Project Vanguard, designed to launch a scientific satellite by the end of 1958 as part of the International Geophysical Year. The other, an Air Force-led military initiative, sought to place into earth orbit a strategic reconnaissance satellite capable of providing vital intelligence about Soviet offensive forces. ...
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