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Spires, Beyond Horizons

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The Dawn of the Space Age:

  • A number of theorists worked out the feasibility of exo-atmospheric rockets in the early decades of the twentieth century.
  • An influential RAND study immediately following the end of WWII suggested the utility of artificial satellites for military operations.

The Air Force enterns the Space Age: 1945-1957:

  • The Air Force was initially cool towards ballistic missiles and satellites, but the launch of Sputnik and the prospect of sister-service advances motivated the service to place more emphasis on both efforts.

The National Space Program and the Air Force's Quest for the Military Space Mission:

  • The National Space Act of 1958 created NASA to operate the civilian space effort, while the services jockeyed for position through military space programs.
  • The Air Force emerged as the lead service in space (although it was not the only service or agency with a space program).
  • By the end of the Eisenhower Administration, the AF space program revealed the basic defense support characteristics that it would retain for the next four decades.

The Air Force in the Era of Apollo:

From the Ground Up: The Path from Experiment to Operations:

Organizing for Space:

From Star Wars to the Gulf War:

Coming of Age:



What does the establishment of Air Force Space Command and US Space Command tell us about more recent decisions to establish 24th Air Force and US Cyber Command?

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