Beyond Horizons: A Half Century of Air Force Space by David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

By David N. Spires, Rick W Sturdevant, Richard S Eckert

This manuscript is a examine of the USA Air strength in area. Of the entire army prone, the Air strength has been preeminently concerned for the prior fifty years in starting up, constructing, and using the know-how of space-based structures in aid of the nation's nationwide safeguard. but there was no single-volume evaluate of the Air strength area tale to function an advent and advisor for readers. This ebook tells the tale of the origins and improvement of the USA Air Force's house application from its earliest beginnings within the publish moment international battle interval to its emergence as a serious operational presence within the Persian Gulf battle.

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Two reference papers provided particularly insightful comments on the potential importance of reconnaissance satellites . , addressed tactical satellite support of naval operations and the vulnerability of satellites to attack. Most interesting, he proposed satellites as communications relay stations and the application of astronomical telescopic principles to space reconnaissance . His work would contribute later to experiments using long-focal-length panoramic camera systems for surveillance purposes .

17 Beyond Horizons Despite General Arnold's interest in developing long-range missiles of the V-2 type, the Air Force followed the path charted by Theodore von KArmdn, which stayed within the atmosphere and the initial Air Force domain . Short-range jetpropulsion weapons seemed to offer faster development and better range and payload capabilities . They also directly complemented the strategic bomber fleet, the nation's intercontinental strike force of the day. In October 1945 the Army Air Forces solicited proposals from seventeen aircraft companies for a ten-year research and development program for pilotless aircraft, and the fiscal year 1946 budget included an impressive twenty-six different projects .

If the Army Air Forces seemed devoted to shorter-range air-breathing missiles, it could not abandon long-range missile development to the Army or Navy. All three services jealously guarded their prerogatives and jockeyed fiercely with their rivals over roles and missions in the new postwar world . As it looked to a future as an independent service, the Army Air Forces proved particularly sensitive to new, unproved weapon fields such as rockets and missiles . While General LeMay in early 1946 staked out the AAF's claim to any prospective satellite mission, he also became embroiled with Army and Navy representatives over which service should be responsible for what types of missiles .

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