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The Case for a US Miltary Presence at LEO and Beyond

1 Mar 2016, 22:23 UTC
The Case for a US Miltary Presence at LEO and Beyond
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Artist rendition of military operated MOL space lab (Credit: NASA)by Marcel F. WilliamsOn January 31, 1958, the US Army launched America's first satellite into orbit. That was nearly four months after the Soviet Union became the first nation to place a satellite (Sputnik) into Earth orbit and nearly two months after the failed US Navy  attempt to launch a satellite into orbit aboard the Vanguard rocket.The Soviet's launch of Sputnik had suddenly turned science fiction into reality. And with the perceived threat of possible Soviet dominion over the rest of the solar system, the  US Army, Navy, and Air Force  appeared to be on their way towards the rapid development of their own  individual  unmanned and manned space programs in order to counter the growing threat of communism during the Cold War.In 1958, the US Air Force conceived plans for its own lunar missions, the Lunex Project, with crewed missions to the lunar surface scheduled for 1967 and an underground military base by 1968.Diagram of the US Air Force Lunex lunar lander (Credit: US Air Force)In 1959, the head of the US Army's ABMA, Wernher von Braun, appointed Heinz-Hermann Koelle to head Project Horizon, a program to study the feasibility ...

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