Despite our WW II alliance the US and the Soviet Union are anything but allies.Under Joseph Stalin’s brutal regime, Collectivism kills more people than did Hitler’s hideous “final solution.” Stalin’s geopolitical objectives offer no room for “peaceful coexistence,” and the US and USSR square off for a lengthy and volatile “cold war.”
Americans are justifiably afraid of the Communist ideology, which demands centralized government control, the surrender of personal property, and the loss of individual 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 men such 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, who introduces America to its very first astronauts in 1959. The sevenformer test pilots of Project Mercury become the standard-bearers for America’s “space race” with the Soviet Union. They and their successors will carry the nation’s hopes and dreams aloft in a frantic scramble toward the moon.