Voices from New Mexico's Space History
Voices from New Mexico's Space History
This month's excerpt is from American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley. It refers to post-World War II rocket development in the United States, particularly relating to New Mexico. Note that Robert Goddard had spent the last ten years of his liquid-fuel rocket work in Roswell, New Mexico.

Created by Baltimore's Glenn L. Martin Company (later part of Lockheed Martin) in conjunction with the US Naval Research Laboratory, the Viking was built on the basis of the V-2 but was a distinctly American effort, even incorporating some ideas by the late Robert Goddard. "The US Navy wanted no part of the haughty Germans, no matter how talented they were," wrote historian and NASA veteran Doran Baker. The Viking was developed principally to gather upper atmospheric and ionospheric data that would help predict weather and would communicate via satellites. It would prove a  huge boon to America's military and commercial aviation industries in the coming decades. At the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, test launches of the Viking were able to carry research instruments to altitudes of up to 158 miles.

The US Army was continuing its own missile work, relying heavily on German technology and expertise from Fort Bliss. When the Dora-Mittelbau war crimes trial ensued in 1947 at Dachau, the US Army Ordnance Corps made it clear that the von Braun team (the Peenemunders) had eluded any charges. Unscathed by the Dachau trial, in the fall of 1948 von Braun's team began contemplating the development of Earth-orbiting satellites.... Documents from 1949 show that the RAND Corporation had convinced the Pentagon of the satellite's potential for surveillance, reconnaissance, communications, and intimidation, suggesting that the "mere presence in the sky of an artificial satellite would have a strong psychological effect on the potential enemy."



See previously featured quotes on the following pages:
Voices Archives for the current year
2019 Voices Archives
2018 Voices Archives
[Voices Archives from 2017 were lost in a computer crash]
2016 Voices Archives
2015 Voices Archives
2014 Voices Archives
2013 Voices Archives
2012 Voices Archives
2011 Voices Archives


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is © Loretta Hall 2010-2019.

Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the April 2020 installment.
Different quotations from New Mexico space pioneers appear on this page monthly. This is the April 2020 installment.
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This month's excerpt is from American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley. It refers to post-World War II rocket development in the United States, particularly relating to New Mexico. Note that Robert Goddard had spent the last ten years of his liquid-fuel rocket work in Roswell, New Mexico.

Created by Baltimore's Glenn L. Martin Company (later part of Lockheed Martin) in conjunction with the US Naval Research Laboratory, the Viking was built on the basis of the V-2 but was a distinctly American effort, even incorporating some ideas by the late Robert Goddard. "The US Navy wanted no part of the haughty Germans, no matter how talented they were," wrote historian and NASA veteran Doran Baker. The Viking was developed principally to gather upper atmospheric and ionospheric data that would help predict weather and would communicate via satellites. It would prove a  huge boon to America's military and commercial aviation industries in the coming decades. At the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, test launches of the Viking were able to carry research instruments to altitudes of up to 158 miles.

The US Army was continuing its own missile work, relying heavily on German technology and expertise from Fort Bliss. When the Dora-Mittelbau war crimes trial ensued in 1947 at Dachau, the US Army Ordnance Corps made it clear that the von Braun team (the Peenemunders) had eluded any charges. Unscathed by the Dachau trial, in the fall of 1948 von Braun's team began contemplating the development of Earth-orbiting satellites.... Documents from 1949 show that the RAND Corporation had convinced the Pentagon of the satellite's potential for surveillance, reconnaissance, communications, and intimidation, suggesting that the "mere presence in the sky of an artificial satellite would have a strong psychological effect on the potential enemy."




See previously featured quotes on the following pages:

      Voices Archives
for the current year
        2019 Voices Archives
        2018 Voices Archives
        [2017 Voices Archives were lost in a computer crash]
        2016 Voices Archives
        2015 Voices Archives
        2014 Voices Archives
        2013 Voices Archives
        2012 Voices Archives
        2011 Voices Archives


Photo Credits
Robert Goddard towing one of his rockets to the launch site near Roswell about 1931, courtesy of NASA.

WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America runway dedication flyover, photo by Loretta Hall.


Unless otherwise credited, all material on this site is
© Loretta Hall 2010-2020.

For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
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For more information about New Mexico's contributions to space exploration, visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History.