The Air Force wanted to militarize space almost from the moment the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. After the Man in Space Soonest and Dyna-Soar programs failed, it focussed on developing a space station called the Manned Orbiting Laboratory. But its existence was contested by NASA, however indirectly, every step of the way. In spite of efforts to give it a reason to exist, the MOL program was canceled a month before Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.
For a much longer and more complete overview of MOL, check out my latest article on Vintage Space! (And be warned: it's a long one!
And of course, there's loads more space history at Vintage Space to explore!
I get into the genesis of the X-15 and Dyna-Soar programs in my book, Breaking the Chains of Gravity, which is available now in the UK and January 12 in the US, Canada, Australia, and India (I think!). You can (pre)order your copy on Amazon!
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