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Quote Author Cited
From the beginning [of the Cold War] our objective was not to build an empire of satellites, but of nations and regions so that they could become partners. Walt Whitman Rostow
As far as the satellite itself is concerned, that doesn’t give me any apprehension at all. Dwight D. Eisenhower
We can put a satellite in orbit in 60 days. Wernher von Braun
Several weeks before the Russians launched Sputnik, our team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory asked permission to place a rocket in orbit around the Earth. We could to it with two days of preparation. We had been doing experiments with 2 stage rockets to test materials and designs for nose-cones returning from space. We launched rockets straight up. At the maximum height we turned it around and fired the second stage to drive it straight back to Earth so it could achieve the speed of an object returning from space. We were developing more and more powerful second stage rockets. We had just calculated that our newest second stage had more than enough thrust to, after the ascent, turn the rocket at right angles to the perpendicular, and fire the rocket into orbit around the earth. We could do this easily. The military were initially very enthusiastic. America could be the first nation that put a satellite in orbit. However, the authorities in Washington, not only refused us permission to try, but postponed a number of our regular launches and forbade us from talking to anyone about our capability or request for our experiment.. When Sputnik was launched into orbit a few weeks later, we were really puzzled. No one ever explained why Washington had refused us permission, but we came up with a theory: The issue of the legality under international law of one country having its satellite in orbit over another country’s airspace was not at all settled. If we did satellite reconnaissance in the future over the Soviet Union, the Russians could claim that was an act of war. And we had extensive plans to create such satellites and launch them when we solved all the technical problems in the future. We believe that the authorities knew that the Russians were about to launch Sputnik. By allowing them to be the first to launch, it would be they—not us—who would be setting the precedent of sending satellites over other nation’s airspace and claiming this was not aggression or an act of war as they thought they were way ahead of us. In addition, after WWII, President Eisenhower was having difficulty getting Congress to spend money on rocketry and satellites as well as science and technology including science and mathematics education which was then terrible in America. So allowing the Russians to “beat us” the administration had the issue that they needed, and they allowed the Russians to set the legal precedents that they would have opposed if we were ahead of them and orbited a satellite first. Either President Eisenhower and his team were brilliantly shrewd or they were pretty dumb because we easily could have put our rockets in orbit then. Conway W. Snyder
Transparency has long been a rare commodity in international affairs. But today, the forces of technology are ushering in a new age of openness that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Governments, journalists, and nongovernmental organ­izations (NGOs) can now harness a flood of open-source information, drawn from commercial surveillance satellites, drones, smartphones, and computers, to reveal hidden activities in contested areas—from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea. Sean P. Larkin
Over the next decade, the market-driven explosion of surveillance sensors and data analytics will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to global affairs. Commercial satellites will capture daily images of the entire globe, offering inexpensive and automated reports on everything from crop yields to military activity. Journalists, NGOs, and bloggers will increasingly use crowdsourced data to uncover wartime atrocities and expose government hypocrisy. Private security companies will discover the sources of cyberattacks and data theft. Biometric systems will expose the identities of clandestine operatives, and government agencies will struggle to contain leakers and whistleblowers. Sean P. Larkin
Although governments will also benefit from improved access to information, increased transparency will allow people at home and abroad to better observe and critique what governments do and to hold leaders accountable for their decisions. As a result, governments will find it harder to adopt strategies that require secrecy or violate international norms. Sean P. Larkin
Venture capitalists are pouring billions of dollars into commercial surveillance satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, social media analytics, biometric technologies, and cyberdefenses to meet surging market demand. Heavy competition is driving down the cost of and improving the information available to individuals, businesses, and governments. Sean P. Larkin