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By Harry L. Shipman

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Army rocket team was given the go-ahead to proceed with its own satellite project. S. Navy, which may have had more scientists on board but which had little rocket experience. Von Braun's team worked rapidly, refitting their Army missile with a satellite, and did launch the Explorer J satellite, the American response to Sputnik J, in January 1958. At last, America was in orbit. The Vanguard project kept going and finally made it into space in March 1958. Still, the pace in America seemed slow, and the failures too numerous.

I share Van AIlen's concern that a massive pro gram like the space station might, if it were to become the exclusive focus of NASA's activities, leave everything else that NASA is or should be doing in the dust. But does this concern mean that we shouldn't build aspace station, particularly as the concept of a "balanced program" has been endorsed in many high-level policy statements? Surely not, in my view. The wide variety of NASA activities in space has clouded the meaning of the concept of American preeminence.

At the present time, the role of these countries is basically limited to being consumers of space technology, most particularly communications. The various countries in the international space arena are in a curious position of simultaneously competing and cooperating with each other. ESA and NASA probably represent an extreme case. On the one hand, they have been competing viciously for the rights to launch commercial satellites on their various space vehic1es. But the two groups cooperated in building instrumentation for one of the most complicated space satellites ever launched: the Space Telescope.

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