First in military priority was the capture of the V-2 missiles. With collapse of the Nazi regime, a plethora of technologies were carved up among the Allies, and carted off to each national intelligence group for study and exploitation. V-2 rockets were shipped to North American shores, components to manufacture some 75 such rockets. Though managing to sack a far greater quantity of rocket components than did the Soviet agents, the NAO did not obtain the very best technology which the Peenemunde Institute had to offer. The mighty A-9 reappeared on October 4, 1956 when the Soviets launched Sputnik I. A hybrid rocket system having an enormous thrust potential per unit volume, the A-9 repeatedly worked its wonders for Soviet space initiatives. The mystery which so confounded NAO spaceward efforts was the sheer power of the A-9, a craft standing little over 3 stories in height. Able to launch incredibly heavy payloads into orbit, the A-9 outperformed all of its predecessors. The side-strapped boosters were clustered around the main stage, a conical form of diminished height, but undiminished power. It was known by western agents that certain German science prisoners enabled Soviet efforts in achieving their continuous series of space spectaculars. The A-9 reemerged as the Soviet R-7, a redesign by Sergei Korolev.
The testing of these captured missiles required specialists, a necessity which produced “Project Paperclip”. This repatriation of Nazi scientists under the aegis of various Intelligence Agencies was rationalized by bureaucrats who viewed these obvious contradictions as necessary evils, the maintenance of some vague “national security”. Cloaked in this oft-misused phrase, one peers beyond the bureaucracy and into the true source of those contradictory but superior directives. The very rockets which murdered the precious and valiant lives of thousand upon thousand souls were thus imported for study and future use. Designations of the rockets were changed from “Vergeltungswaffe” (retaliatory weapon) to “Viking”, a seemingly venturesome. The NAO was enthralled. Some 67 Viking rockets were tested repeatedly at White Sands, a project known as HERMES. Tests were conducted between April 1946 and June 1951. These rockets demonstrated a new and unlimited means for achieving the world-ambitious goals of rulership. Tactical ballistic missiles promised a new arena in which to wage war and win. Missiles of these kinds could threaten any hostile House, acquiring new territories without contest.
This new notion of “seizing…taking…capturing” the space potential was the aggressive venture of military authority, whose first priority recognized the defensive needs of the oligarchy. Civilian and Industrial space applications would not be a viable enough purpose to require such expenditures of labor and capital. Once the North American Oligarchy (NAO) was made to recognize these realities, it would be moved in their behalf yet again. Indeed from thereon, the famed “Race For Space” ceased existing as a peacetime altruistic venture. It was no longer a visionary pursuit. The space endeavor was now very evidently a military venture, and has been dominated by the military presence since that time.
In the engineering community, new and thrilling uses for rocketry began to emerge. Theoreticians, well aware of both the engineering aspects and visionary goals, began to meld each discipline together into a new tapestry of dreams. The October 1945 issue of Wireless World published a short treatise on the possibility of rocketing communications relay stations into orbit, a then very controversial topic. In his article, Arthur C. Clarke discussed he theoretical requirements for a telephonic exchange satellite, an unmanned “space relay”. Clarke described the inefficiency of long-range radio communications relay systems, the relative absorptivities and reflectivities of the ionosphere for various kinds of communications waves, and the variable ionospheric responses to VHF, UHF, and SHF signals. Anticipating both the increased demand for intercontinental communications, as well as the social proliferation of television, Clarke explained the need for high frequency exchange systems; an impossibility for existing ionospheric relay methods. The impossibility of using ionospheric techniques to reflect such high density signals to distant locales would not be much helped by the use of land RADAR relays.
Mr. Clarke had previously explained (1935) that ground based RADAR relay chains would be of exceeding cost, while prohibiting intercontinental communications. Bouncing signals from the lunar surface was a scheme which his analysis proved impractical. The heart of his thesis centered about the use of an “artificial satellite”, an orbital relay station permitting the intercontinental exchange of high density signals; the key to an impending communications dilemma. In his classic Wireless World article he proposed the use of three satellites in geosynchronous orbits, each orbiting at 22,300 miles, as a means to maintain intercontinental communications between television, radio, and telephonic exchange centers. But, though the access and potential was certainly very evidently available, the technology of space would not be seized by civilian based Industry. Six months after Mr. Clarke’s article appeared, the US Army Signal Corps bounced a very moderately powered RADAR signal from the moon. Civilian experimenters could have done as much, but did not.
Shortly after these events, the megalithic RAND Corporation released a most remarkable and advanced Air Force sponsored portfolio. RAND was the direct recipient of highly classified data on captured V-2 rockets. It was not therefore a profound extrapolation when, in their “Preliminary Design Of An Experimental World-Circling Spaceship” (1946), RAND outlined a project in which a 500 pound spacecraft would be rocket-lifted into orbit by 1951. RAND
projected the total cost of this endeavor at 150 million dollars, then a fantastic sum of money. The report alerted authorities to both the military and scientific potentials of such a spaceship, also informing their bureaucratic readership of the remarkable reconnaissance attributes which such a ship would offer. RAND explained why such a vehicle would well be the single most potent tools of the Twentieth Century for both military applications and scientific research. In addition, they were quick to point out that such a spacecraft would so “inflame the imagination of humankind” that its “repercussions in the world would be comparable to the explosion of the atomic bomb”.
- CHAPTER 7