Sixty years ago this fall, the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching into orbit Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The beach ball-sized spacecraft was an astounding scientific achievement, one previously thought beyond the reach of Moscow. As Sputnik circled the globe and emitted radio signals detectable by anyone with a short-wave receiver, the American public experienced a crisis of confidence over their country’s standing in the world and its Cold War competitiveness.
We know the rest of the story. American scientists and policymakers were shaken out of the complacent assumption that their technological edge was insurmountable. American government, universities, and industry mobilized for a competition of scientific innovation – and won.
Read the full article in POLITICO.
More from CNAS
CommentaryGermany’s Indo-Pacific Vision: A New Reckoning With China or More Strategic Drift?
Berlin’s regional strategy tinkers around the edges of trade policy without risking the cost of a full-fledged strategic reckoning with China....
By Coby Goldberg
CommentaryDesigning a U.S. Digital Development Strategy
The digital choices that U.S. allies and partners make today will play a critical role in shaping the future of U.S. national security....
By Siddharth Mohandas, Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg
PodcastFuture of US-China Competition with Richard Fontaine
CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine joins the Hopkins Podcast on Foreign Affairs from Johns Hopkins University to discuss the latest developments in U.S.-China relations.Listen to the f...
By Richard Fontaine
CommentaryLocal Interests, Chinese Ambitions, and an Intelligent American Response
Review of Daniel Markey, China’s Western Horizon: Beijing and the New Geopolitics of Eurasia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020). In his book China’s Western Horizon: Be...
By Emily Jin