December 2, 2021

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America’s forgotten plans to reach the moon

8 min read

Humanity has long fantasized about going to the moon, but it was only in the 19th century that writers like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells began to think about using technology to make this dream a reality. The enthusiasm generated by such concepts, combined with the heating up of the Cold War, made the moon a feasible target for exploration, propaganda, and military exploitation. The outcome was several top-secret schemes developed by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Army, and independent privately funded contractors.

The USAF desired to be at the forefront of developing rocketry and spacecraft, feeling the urgent need to respond to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 on Oct. 4, 1957. In January 1958, USAF Brigadier General Homer A. Boushey gave a speech to the Aero Club in Washington, where he stated: “He who controls the moon controls the Earth. Our planners must carefully evaluate this statement for, if true — and I for one think it is — then the U.S. must control the moon.” 

All About Space

All About Space issue 117

(Image credit: Future)

This article is brought to you by All About Space.

All About Space magazine takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through our solar system and beyond, from the amazing technology and spacecraft that enables humanity to venture into orbit, to the complexities of space science.

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