- USAF Academy Department of History
Into the Unknown: Together The DOD, NASA, and Early Spaceflight
by Mark Erickson
Colonel Erickson examines the use of space exploration as a tool to secure international prestige and national pride as part of the Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations. He looks at the creation of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), the evolving NASA-DOD relationship, and the larger context in which this relationship was forged. He focuses on the human-spaceflight projects—Projects Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Dynasoar, and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory—by examining the geopolitical, domestic political, and bureaucratic environments in which decisions concerning these projects were made. By blending in the individuals involved, the obstacles that were overcome, and the achievements of the US space program, Erickson reveals a special transformation that took place during this chapter of Americana.