Practical rather than idealistic reasons pushed President Kennedy to challenge America to land a man on the moon within the decade

Gazing up at the Texas night sky from his ranch, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson did not know what to make of Sputnik I, the first artificial Earth satellite launched into orbit by a Soviet missile on October 4, 1957. But an aide’s memorandum stoked his political juices. Read more >>
Edwin Diamond and Stephen Bates’s remembrance of Sputnik (October) was a real attention-getter for me, as I believe I was the unwitting reason for that “hostile” Eisenhower press conference! Read more >>

FORTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH the Soviet Union orbited a “man-made moon” whose derisive chirp persuaded Americans they’d already lost a race that had barely begun

The first American to leave the Earth's atmosphere recalls the momentous flight that put us on a course for the moon.

THE SHRILL RINGING WOKE ME from deep sleep early in the morning of April 12, 1961. I was confused for a moment, but only a moment. I was in my room in the Holiday Inn at Cocoa Beach, Florida. Read more >>
When a rocket lifts off, it lights up the launch area with a brilliant burst of flame and then trails a fiery streak across the sky as it soars toward orbit. But without careful guidance all the pyrotechnics will have been for naught. Read more >>