A Ball, A Dog, and A Monkey

A Ball, A Dog, and A Monkey

1957, the Space Race Begins

Book - 2007 | 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
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Baker & Taylor
A high-energy account of the first year of the space race describes the dramatic rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and how it was marked by such contributing factors as UFO sightings, intelligence gathering, and fierce nationalism. 40,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

An account of the first year of the space race describes the dramatic rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and how it was marked by such contributing factors as UFO sightings, intelligence gathering, and fierce nationalism.

Simon and Schuster
A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey tells the remarkable story of America's first efforts to succeed in space, a time of exploding rockets, national space mania, Florida boomtowns, and interservice rivalries so fierce that President Dwight Eisenhower had to referee them.

When the Soviet Union launched the first orbital satellite, Sputnik I, Americans panicked. The Soviets had nuclear weapons, the Cold War was underway, and now the USSR had taken the lead in the space race. Members of Congress and the press called for an all-out effort to launch a satellite into orbit. With dire warnings about national security in the news almost every day, the armed services saw space as the new military frontier. But President Eisenhower insisted that the space effort, which relied on military technology, be supervised by civilians so that the space race would be peaceful. The Navy's Vanguard program flopped, and the Army, led by ex-Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and a martinet general named J. Bruce Medaris (whom Eisenhower disliked), took over. Meanwhile, the Soviets put a dog inside the next Sputnik, and Americans grew more worried as the first animal in space whirled around the Earth.

Throughout 1958 America went space crazy. UFO sightings spiked. Boys from Brooklyn to Burbank shot model rockets into the air. Space-themed beauty pageants became a national phenomenon. The news media flocked to the launchpads on the swampy Florida coast, and reporters reinvented themselves as space correspondents. And finally the Army's rocket program succeeded. Determined not to be outdone by the Russians, America's space scientists launched the first primate into space, a small monkey they nicknamed Old Reliable for his calm demeanor. And then at Christmastime, Eisenhower authorized the launch of a secret satellite with a surprise aboard.

A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey memorably recalls the infancy of the space race, a time when new technologies brought ominous danger but also gave us the ability to realize our dreams and reach for the stars.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2007
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9780743294317
0743294319
Branch Call Number: 629.434 DAN
Characteristics: 306 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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dixiedog
Aug 27, 2017

Michael D’Antonio ‘A Ball, A Dog, and A Monkey – 1957 the Space Race Begins’ (2007) was even more detailed than Matthew Brzezinski’s ‘Red Moon Rising.’ However, it was detailed to the point of being a little tedious or laborious at times but to the most avid of space history buffs. It must mention every key player in the early space race when the USA was trying so hard to save face and catch up to the Soviet Union. Still, for those who need to know, I suggest this is a great reference book and outlines how and from what institutions NASA was eventually formed. The book also describes and gives due respect to the man known in the Soviet Union as ‘The Chief Designer’ – Sergei Pavlovich Korolev; the man who was the brains behind The Soviet Union’s early success in the space race. A man who remained unknown inside and outside the Soviet Union and was not honored until after he had died. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. Adams.

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