Economic concerns might have been among the reasons that Eisenhower and his administration reacted as calmly as they did regarding Sputnik; a stronger reaction might have induced an economic panic.
Sputnik : The Shock of the Century
There were several responses to the growing fears and feelings of American misguidance or inadequacy. Eisenhower began a series of speeches to the public concerning developments n the American space program, but his calm veneer and stated informative purpose was easily seen through by the American public, and Eisenhower's addresses quickly became known derisively as the "chin-up talks," after a Herblock cartoon in the Washington Post. One such reaction, led by then-Senator Lyndon B.
Johnson, was a series of hearings held by the Senate Preparedness Subcommittee, which Johnson was director of at the time. These hearings seemed to be a largely political move on the part of Johnson, who in the words of White House insider Bryce N.
Harlow "wanted to get in front of the space rush so that everybody would say, 'Oh, that's our leader. The Soviet Union.
When deviation from this line of dire circumstances and the need for immediate action occurred, Johnson expressed his doubts in often cynical ways that purported to have the interests and welfare of the American people at heart, but which in reality were often pointed barbs at the Eisenhower and his administration's failure to keep up with the Soviets, as Johnson saw it, in the space race.
One of the central issues of the hearings, and of governmental and scientific squabbling in the wake of Sputnik, was the current position of United States rocket technology and space capabilities, including the oft-bemoaned fact that the United States Army had completed a successful launch of the Jupiter C. Download the perfectly formatted MS Word file!
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Sputnik : the shock of the century / Paul Dickson | National Library of Australia
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Sputnik, all of pounds with only a radio transmitter inside its highly polished shell, became the first man-made object in space; while it immediately shocked the world, its long-term impact was even greater, for it profoundly changed the shape of the twentieth century. In Sputnik, Paul Dickson chronicles the dramatic events and developments leading up to and emanating from Sputnik's launch. Supported by groundbreaking, original research and many recently declassified documents,Sputnikoffers a fascinating profile of the early American and Soviet space programs and a strikingly revised picture of the politics and personalities behind the facade of America's fledgling efforts to get into space.
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