In this, RAND virtually quoted each forgotten statement heard in the previous decades by Dr. Nikola Tesla, who described the “increase of human energy” as a venture which would literally “inflame the imagination of humankind”. By this, meaning the increase of human consciousness through Radiant Energy applications, Tesla would have directed social consciousness up into new transcendent states through his new psychotronic technologies. But neither RAND nor bureaucracy was interested in magnifying human consciousness. While the application of nuclear weaponry to this space proposal was not then evident, RAND blatantly proposed the manipulation of Cold War hysteria by their space station project. Diverting social attention from the magnified nuclear threat of a military station in space, RAND inferred that proper public relations and media manipulations could convince society that the venture was actually altruistic! RAND seemed to infer that the social impact of any space venture could raise expectations while hiding a superior directive.
Progress in rocketry was rapidly approaching a state of art difficult to ignore. But only military applications of rocketry were being viewed, the newest mean for deploying nuclear weapons across vast intercontinental distances. Had they not feared that the Nazi regime would accomplish this very thing? Soon thereafter, the Viking Project BUMPER tested two stage rocket systems, reaching 250 miles (1949). This project used a four stage system comprised of a liquid fueled Redstone first stage, and three successive solid fuel rocket stages. Each solid fuel stage was placed within the next, the fourth stage propelling the equipment payload into orbit. Contemplating the thought of world destruction, Cold War humanity recoiled with every subsequent nuclear test. Pounding the earth in a long series of weapons improvement experiments, military seemed uninterested in the civilians who surrounded their test sites. Society began to assimilate the fear of nuclear holocaust with a deep resentment for all those in authority. Born of fear and the sense of divorce from those holding the nuclear secrets, these social fixations were beginning to concern those in authority. A growing reactionism was flooding deeper levels of the working class with an assurance concerning the real intent of those in power. Citizens everywhere began sensing themselves the victims of totalitarian controls, couched in a democratic setting. The growing uneasiness was once again cultivating a new counter-consciousness in the working class which, in the next decade, exploded in a wave of new intolerance and penetrating awareness.
These proposals remained unheeded. RAND again proposed the establishment of reconnaissance satellites (1951), a plan having great appeal with certain key members of the CIA. RAND was then provided with funds toward the feasibility of actually accomplishing such a task (1952). Wemher von Braun then published a collection of articles entitled “Across The Space Frontier” (1952), describing a space station which offered ruling authorities with “a superb observation post”…where technicians would use “specially designed telescopes attached to large optical screens, radarscopes, and cameras”. The space station would “keep in constant inspection every ocean, continent, country, and city”. Dr. von Braun also stated that “even small towns will be visible…nothing will go unobserved”. But this totalitarian expression would find its rationale in some “national security”. Dr. von Braun saved his reputation by stating that “because of the telescopic eyes and cameras of the space station, it will be practically impossible for any nation to hide warlike preparations for any length of time”, a concession to those who detected that residual fascist streak in his proposals.
The von Braun proposal carried weight which is not commonly appreciated. He had already alerted bureaucratic channels of the dangers inherent in procrastinating the NAO sponsored space program. The potentials of space were as dangerous as those having to do with the development of nuclear weaponry. A strange pressure was now forcing bureaucracies out toward space. Coupled together, the marriage of nuclear weaponry with space technology would indeed pose a world threat of unquestioned magnitudes. First in this venture would be the establishment of an unmanned reconnaissance station, one which could first be deployed to assess the potentials of the Soviet military threat.
RAND next produced a report “An Analysis of the Potential of an Unconventional Reconnaissance Method”, a complete discussion of the advantages of espionage satellites (March 1954). CIA majority viewed all these schemes as furtive, and chose more practical aeronautic alternatives. Meanwhile, military suffusion of each supposed “scientific research project” showed itself to the naive public throughout the early years of the space initiative. The all too obvious military launch vehicles were routinely employed in the orbital launching of sometimes dubious instrument packages. Launching vehicles were all military: Vanguard (Navy), Redstone (Army), Thor (Air Force), Sergeant (Army), and Scout series (Navy, Air Force). Equipped with the only powerful such means, the actual engineworks to attain space, the military had effectively again attempted the concentration of bureaucratic power among themselves. The bureaucratic power struggle between military and Industry proved to be a futile tautology, in which one thought the other inferior. In truth, the NAO was simply studying and observing the tension, while assessing the technological capabilities of each faction. The establishment of military priority in space
then became the main thrust of all subsequent industrial effort. Project OR-BITER (1954) attempted the orbiting of a satellite system. The joint Army-Navy project proved unsuccessful.
The repetitive military inability to demonstrate proficient use of power and funding from the higher levels eventually provoked an unexpected twist in the bureaucratic delegation of authority. Both because of the successive failures of military rocket projects, and the prior demonstration of disloyalty in regards to the nuclear weapons issue, a new delegation of power was issued. The first priority was a defensive priority. This necessarily involved the military. It was necessary to develop defensive systems in space, the obvious next nuclear battlezone. Fixed into their singular objectives, military laboratories were never as prolific, competitive, or diversified as Industrial laboratories. Military systems personnel had not the excessive experimental and developmental prowess of Industry, whose diversified objectives afforded them a far greater capability with new variables. Now, Industry was given the rulership of research, development, and deployment. Military would cooperate with Industry to achieve the necessary tactical results.
- CHAPTER 7