Evolution of the U.S. Military Space Program, 1945-1960

Some Key Events in Study, Planning, and Program Development

by Bruno Augenstein

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Discusses a number of aspects of the U.S. Space Program during the period 1945-1960. The seminal influence of early RAND work is highlighted, as is the way in which RAND research significantly set the stage for the undertaking of formal space programs in the United States in the mid-1950s. The rapid growth of these initial programs is then traced to 1960. The paper is written largely from the point of view of the writer's own involvement in many of the projects discussed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.