Despiteour WW II alliance the US and the Soviet Union are anything but allies.Under Joseph Stalin’s brutal regime, Collectivism kills more peoplethan did Hitler’s hideous “final solution.” Stalin’s geopoliticalobjectives offer no room for “peaceful coexistence,” and the US andUSSR square off for a lengthy and volatile “cold war.”
Americans arejustifiably afraid of the Communist ideology, which demands centralizedgovernment control, the surrender of personal property, and the loss ofindividual freedoms. When the Soviet Union launches the first man-madesatellite, “Sputnik,” in 1957, a new battle ground emerges…space.
America’sspace program shifts into high gear, ironically, with the help of mensuch as Werhner Von Braun, who once supported the Nazi cause.Von Brauncoordinates the Army’s rocket-development efforts, eventuallyperfecting the massive moon-ship known as the “Saturn V.” On the AirForce side, General Bernard Schriever invents the concept of “systemsmanagement” as he skillfully directs a variety of successful missileprograms.
The civilian effort is lead by Robert Gilruth, whointroduces America to its very first astronauts in 1959. The sevenformer test pilots of Project Mercury become the standard-bearers forAmerica’s “space race” with the Soviet Union. They and their successorswill carry the nation’s hopes and dreams aloft in a frantic scrambletoward the moon.