Years before Sputnik's launch, the Soviet Union promised to get a satellite up before the United States.
A longer article about the IGY and how the stage was set for a satellite race is over on my blog, Vintage Space. And there's plenty more olde timey space to explore on Vintage Space, too!
This history also features in my book, Breaking the Chains of Gravity, 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.
I'm also selling signed hardcover editions of my book on my website! Get your copy here.
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