America has a rich history of rising to meet generational challenges. The Soviet Union's 1957 launch of Sputnik—the world's first satellite—triggered the U.S.-Soviet space race. A centerpiece of the Cold War, the space race catalyzed U.S. science and technology competitiveness and galvanized the American public in the decades that followed.
A new video explainer from CNAS explores how the U.S. government mobilized its remarkable innovation base—its people, infrastructure, and resources—in the aftermath of the Sputnik launch. The U.S. government's actions throughout this period hold important lessons for how the country should bolster and advance its technological competitiveness today.
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