Beyond the Atmosphere: Early Years of Space Science

[87] How brightly the Red Star shone before all the world in October of 1957! Streaking across the skies, steadily beeping its mysterious radio message to those on the ground, Sputnik was a source of amazement and wonder to people around the globe, most of whom had had no inkling of what was about to happen. To one nation in particular the Russian star loomed as a threat and a challenge.
In the United States many were taken aback by the intensity of the reaction. Hysteria was the term used by some writers, although that was doubtless too strong a word. Concern and apprehension were better descriptions. Especially in the matter of possible military applications there was concern, and many judged it unthinkable that the United States should allow any other power to get into a position to deny America the benefits and protection that a space capability might afford. A strong and quick response was deemed essential.
Actually, as has been seen in chapters 3 to 5, the United States was not far behind. A full decade of pioneering work had brought into being a respectable stable of rockets and missiles and still more powerful ones were under development, some of them nearing completion. Tracking and telemetering stations were operating, and a number of missile test ranges were functioning. Sizable teams of persons with capabilities pertinent to space research and engineering were available in both government and industry. And more than 10 years of sounding rocket research combined with open publication of results had given the United States a definite edge over the USSR in space science, in spite of its priority in the satellite program. Without question the United States was competitive in space even as the country deplored its loss of leadership.
Leadership was the key word. To be competitive was not enough. In an age when technology was vital to national defense, essential for solving problems of food, transportation, and health, and important to the national economy, technological leadership was an invaluable national resource not to be relinquished without a struggle. It was technological leadership that would generate a favorable balance of trade for the United [88] States and afford strength in international negotiations. Moreover, the appearance of leadership-while in no way equivalent to genuine technological strength in importance- nevertheless had a strong bearing on the international benefits to be won. President Eisenhower was right when he asserted that the country's position in rockets and missiles was a strong one, which the launching of a small scientific satellite by Russia could not substantively weaken, but in the mood of the times people were not disposed to listen.
One heard of a race with Russia, a topic that would be debated often in the years to come. While many would deny the necessity to run a race-and some would even contend that no race existed-for most, competition with the Soviets was serious business. Even those in a position to appreciate the strength of the U.S. position did little to bring it out, most likely because they, too, were persuaded of the importance of recapturing leadership in space, especially in view of the military implications. National leaders were worried about the obvious great size and lifting capacity of the Soviet missiles. Also, insertion of a satellite into orbit proved that the USSR had mastered the final ingredient of a successful intercontinental ballistic missile, guidance. Moreover, all this had occurred while the U.S. Atlas missile was still under development, far from deployment.
During those formative months of late 1957 and the first half of 1958 the broad spectrum of forces impacting on space matters-at once synergistic and conflicting-began to become apparent. In the face of the Soviet challenge academic, industrial, and political forces merged in a common conviction that the country must put its space house in order. The mutually reinforcing effect of these disparate interests all pushing for a properly organized, unified national space program led eventually to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; their continued cooperation during the ensuing years produced the broad spectrum of achievements in manned exploration, science, and applications in outer space with which the world has become familiar. But the individual motivations-political objectives, commercial goals, professional aspirations-and the differing philosophical backgrounds of the industrialist, academician, legislator, administrator, soldier, scientist, and engineer set up cross currents and conflicts of varying intensity that run through the early years of NASA's history.
During the months preceding the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, space science and potential military applications were already established areas of space activity that contended to attract the various interest groups that had or might have a stake in the nation's future in space.1 Industry gravitated toward the military, with which it already had a close and profitable association. Professional societies, the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, the Academy of Sciences, and the President's Science Advisory Committee naturally pursued the scientific [89]  side of the matter. It was the military implications of space, the bearing that future space developments might have upon national defense and security, that imparted a sense of urgency to the deliberations in the executive and legislative branches. Communications satellites, weather satellites, and earth observations from space for intelligence were all important to the military, the last named being of special significance in the Cold War. These considerations caught and held the attention of the legislators. But, through the military implications were deemed the primary concern of the country, circumstances elevated the scientific aspects to a position of considerable influence.
A majority of those who would finally make the decision soon became convinced that the most effective way of proving U.S. leadership in space would be to demonstrate it openly.2 Moreover, a space program conducted under wraps of military secrecy would very likely be viewed by other nations as a sinister thing, a potential threat to the peace of the world. A cardinal point in the U.S. military posture had always been that the development and maintenance of U.S. military strength was peaceful, not intended for aggression, but for self-defense and to enable the country to help maintain stability in a world in which weakness too often provided the occasion for trouble. It was an important thesis for the U.S. public to continue to believe and to sell to the rest of the world and, in a matter as portentous as space seemed to be, special efforts were needed to present the proper image. It seemed important, therefore, that the U.S. space program be open, unclassified, visibly peaceful, and conducted so as to benefit, not harm, the peoples of the world.
A logical conclusion of this reasoning was that the program should be set up under civilian auspices. Thus, although the military had by far the greatest amount of experience pertinent to conducting a space program, it was by no means a foregone conclusion that the Pentagon would be assigned the principal responsibility. To be sure, the Army, Navy, and Air Force had been among the earliest to study the usefulness of space to support their missions.3 Military hardware afforded the only existing U.S. capabilities for space operations.4 Moreover, the services had provided the funding much of the manpower for the rocket-sounding program of the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, many of whose members were civilian employees in military research laboratories, as shown in appendix A. Yet so powerful was the conviction that the program must project an image of benevolence and beneficence that the otherwise overriding military factors were themselves outweighed.
Reinforcing these views were President Eisenhower's own convictions. Already distressed over the enormous power and unmanageability of what he later called the military-industrial complex, Eisenhower was not disposed to foster further growth by adding still another very large, very costly enterprise to the Pentagon's responsibilities. Moreover, at the time the [90] Pentagon did not enjoy the best of relations with Capitol Hill. One heard talk of a "missile mess" and interservice rivalry in the Pentagon. Such concerns led, during the very period when the administration and Congress were deciding America's role in space, to the appointment of a new secretary of defense, the creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and passage of the Defense Reorganization Act, which among other things set up the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. Such considerations, plus Eisenhower's not seeing in Sputnik the crisis for national defense that others considered it to be, predisposed him to favor a space program with a strong scientific component under civilian management.
The scientists were united in their desire to have a strong scientific component in the space program. The greatly expanded federal funding of science in the years following World War II had declined. Members of the President's Science Advisory Committee and James Killian, special assistant to the president for science and technology, saw in the space program an opportunity to renew national support of science. Under the circumstances Killian and PSAC had a considerable influence in the creation of NASA, pressing for a space program under civilian management with a strong scientific flavor.5 In this they were supported by the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel; the National Academy of Sciences, where President Detlov Bronk took a personal interest and where the Space Science Board was set up; by the American Rocket Society; and by other groups of scientists who felt impelled to speak out on the issue.6
Against this background the debate on how precisely to respond to the Soviet challenge proceeded. A deluge of proposals descended upon various congressional committees. In the Department of Defense the administration had set up the Advanced Research Projects Agency, approved by Congress in February as a temporary holding operation.7 But, as pointed out, there were cogent reasons for a space program under civilian auspices-in which case provision would also have to be made to meet the vitally important military needs. Among the civilian possibilities was the creation of a new agency-which some of the scientists had recommended-but to those who knew what was involved, that was a horrendous undertaking. Alternatively one could assign the responsibility to an existing agency, or build a new agency around an existing organization as nucleus. With the application of nuclear power to rocket propulsion in mind, the Atomic Energy Commission was interested in taking on the job, as both the commissioners and the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy on the Hill made plain to members of the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel when they called to enlist support for the creation of a National Space Establishment.8 But, for a number of reasons, the choice finally fell on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
The NACA would not have been the choice of most scientists. As a highly ingrown activity, the agency did not enjoy a particularly great [91] esteem in scientific circles, being thought of more as an applied research activity serving primarily industry and the military. Members of the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, in particular, were skeptical of the ability of an agency almost entirely oriented toward in-house research and with no experience in the management of large programs to take on all the research, development, and operational tasks of a space program that some members thought would soon entail $1 billion a year. For most of its life NACA had managed at most a few tens of millions of dollars a year. In fact, the annual budget had not exceeded $1 million before 1930 and had not passed the $10-million mark until World War II. It took the construction and operation of the large wind-tunnels of the 1950s to push the budget toward $100 million. Skepticism within the panel was not lessened by the cautious attitude NACA management had displayed through the years toward letting NACA people take part, even in a small way, in the sounding rocket program. Doubts about the choice of NACA were increased in the months following the launching of Sputnik by conversations between panel members and NACA's Director of Research Hugh Dryden and Chairman James Doolittle.
The views of the scientists probably carried little weight. More telling was the disenchantment with NACA on the part of its own clients, the Air Force and industry. The agency had started in 1915 as an advisory group, as its name implied, but became gun shy when its advice began to generate at least as many enemies as friends.9 As a consequence the NACA soon turned away from advising and toward research. Even here it was necessary to keep from treading on the toes of either industry or the military, and as a consequence the agency gravitated toward aerodynamic and wind-tunnel research, in which both clients were happy to have help. Over the years the agency had acquired a reputation of caution and conservatism. This conservatism may have caused NACA to miss out on a number of important aeronautical advances, the most significant of which was jet propulsion, where Britain and Germany took the lead. At any rate, because of such missed opportunities, NACA in the 1950s no longer had the unqualified endorsement of the military and industry that it once had, and in the view of at least one historian might well have died had not the space program come along to revive it.10 Under the circumstances the agency was available, and it was a case of assigning responsibility for the space program to an organization whose future was otherwise in doubt.
NACA pursuit of this opportunity was something less than sparkling. At the urging of younger members of the agency, Dryden and his staff developed a number of papers on the subject of space research. On 14 January 1958 the so-called "Dryden Plan" was made public.11 The title, "A National Research Program for Space Technology"- rather than a name referring to the exploration and investigation of space-reflected the agency's characteristic caution and narrowness of outlook. The plan was a [92] hodgepodge born of a desire to keep much of NACA's old way of life while embracing the interests of both military and civilian groups. Under the plan the national space program would be a cooperative effort among the Department of Defense, the NACA, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and various private institutions and companies. The Department of Defense would be responsible for military development and operations, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation would have responsibility for the scientific experiments to be conducted, mostly by the outside scientific community, while NACA would be responsible for research and scientific operations in space. This cautious approach-which courted everyone and satisfied no one-was endorsed in a resolution passed by the Main Committee of NACA on 16 January. On 10 February 1958 the agency issued an internal document giving details of the expansion of NACA that would be required to support the Dryden plan.12
In spite of the negative feelings about NACA, the availability of the agency, coupled with doubts about its future in the field of aeronautics and the desire to put the space program in civilian hands, eventually made NACA the prime candidate for the job. On 5 March Chairman Nelson Rockefeller of the President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization, Director Percival Brundage of the Bureau of the Budget, and Special Assistant for Science and Technology James Killian jointly delivered to President Eisenhower a memorandum recommending that "leadership of the civil space effort be lodged in a strengthened and redesignated National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics." The memo listed a number of liabilities, but stated that these could be overcome by enacting appropriate legislation. The NACA would be renamed the National Aeronautical and Space Agency, and the 17-member governing committee-which NACA insisted was the kind of buffer a research agency needed at the top to shield it from external forces-would remain, but the membership would be changed and its power reduced.
That same day President Eisenhower decided to build "a civilian space agency upon the NACA structure."13 From that point matters moved rapidly within the executive branch. The Bureau of the Budget prepared draft legislation with assistance from Killian's office and NACA. The pace with which this was accomplished left little time for coordination with other agencies such as the Department of Defense, a matter that aroused considerable criticism during the congressional hearings on the bill. On 2 April 1958, Eisenhower submitted his proposal to Congress. The Bureau of the Budget had insisted on a single responsible head for the new agency, one who would be advised by a board of experts but would not be responsible to and shielded by such a board. NACA leaders disagreed, and according to Arthur Levine some members of the agency sought help from friendly congressmen to preserve the traditional NACA organizational [93] pattern.14 But although the administration's bill was considerably tighter than the diffuse approach of the Dryden plan, and although the presentation of the bill served to channel the congressional deliberations into the course that led to the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, both committee members and witnesses found much in it to criticize.
The original bill lacked provisions dealing with Congressional oversight and control, international cooperation and control, patents, indemnification, limitation of liability, conflict of interest, definition of terms, ceilings on salaries, relations with the Atomic Energy Commission, formal liaison committees, and over-all policy determination and coordination. There was no provision for nuclear propulsion, or even any recognition of its importance in this new field. Vagueness regarding the delineation of military and civilian activities in outer space was charged by many. There was no formal provision for determining agency jurisdictions in space research or settling of jurisdictional disputes. There was much criticism of the lack of clarity in the size and makeup of the board proposed in the Administration bill. Concern was voiced over the lack of substantive provisions backing up various aims put forth in the declaration of policy.15
In the end Congress adopted a bill which, while it accepted much of what the administration had proposed, nevertheless introduced substantial changes to meet the various criticisms.
The remarkable congressional response to the Sputnik crisis has been analyzed by a number of authors.16 Even before President Eisenhower showed any willingness to take the matter seriously, Congress had begun to probe the subject of the nation's missile and satellite programs.17 The Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Armed Services opened hearings on 25 November 1957, continuing through 28 January 1958, accumulating more than 7000 pages of printed testimony largely devoted to how the United States and the Soviet Union compared in science and technology in general and rockets and missiles in particular. In his opening remarks the chairman, Lyndon B. Johnson, set a tone of bipartisan, nonpolitical searching for the best possible national response to the Russian challenge, a tone that was to characterize the entire process of the next half year leading to the passage of the NASA Act. The unanimous report from these first hearings called for quick and vigorous action. Indeed, the clear determination of the Congress to do something about the crisis had much to do with goading Eisenhower into action to develop an administration proposal.
At first congressional investigation and study, while extensive and much to the point, showed little agreement on how to proceed. Numerous resolutions and bills were offered, some of them proposing the establishment of a permanent space organization.18 For a while there seemed to be too many cooks, but in February 1958 matters began to gel. Senate [94] Resolution 256 on 6 February created a Special Committee on Space and Aeronautics to frame legislation for a national program of space exploration and development. On 10 February, 13 senators, comprising a powerful representation of the Senate leadership, were named to the committee.19 The membership included the chairmen and ranking minority members of all major Senate committees concerned. On 20 February, in a rare break with tradition, the majority leader, Senator Johnson, was elected chairman.
The House soon followed suit and on 5 March established its own blue ribbon group, the Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration, to which 13 members were appointed.20 As in the Senate, the House regarded the matter as sufficiently important to set aside tradition, and Majority Leader John W. McCormack was named chairman. Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin, Jr., was picked as vice chairman. Meanwhile the administration had been preparing the draft legislation. The appearance of the administration bill drew congressional activity into focus. On 14 April Senators Johnson and Bridges introduced the bill as S. 3609. The same day McCormack introduced it in the House as H.R. 118811, with identical bills being put forth by eight other representatives.21 The House committee began hearings the next day, 15 April, and continued them through 12 May. Not having conducted a previous inquiry, as had the Senate, the House hearings were thorough and extensive. In contrast, the Senate committee directed its inquiry more narrowly at the proposed draft legislation. The Senate hearings covered six days, opening 6 May and closing 15 May.
Many complex issues were debated: the organization and salary structure of the new agency and its location in the executive branch; the matter of policy guidance at the top, and how to provide coordination and liaison between the civilian space agency and numerous other activities-like the Department of Defense and the military services, the Weather Bureau of the Department of Commerce, the National Science Foundation, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, for example-which had legitimate and important interests in space research and applications; and the matter of ensuring the military the necessary freedom of action to pursue applications of space that were deemed of military significance.22 The last-named issue was of great concern and brought in by implication the question of how to divide responsibility in the space program between a civilian agency and the military establishment. Numerous other issues also had to be ironed out, such as organization within Congress and how to provide for congressional oversight, policy on information and publicity, and how to handle international matters such as cooperation in space.23 Both committees felt that the administration proposal failed to cover adequately many of the important issues. As a consequence, the bill finally passed differed considerably from that initially proposed.24
[95] Most significant for space science, Congress did not prescribe the specific content of the space program with which the NASA Act was concerned.
In the end the legislative formulation of a detailed space program was by-passed. The legislation set up an agency, created its machinery, and provided for coordination and cooperation between it and other branches of the Executive.25
The Congress had found it impossible to divide the program between the military and the new civilian agency:
It rapidly became evident that it was the use made of it and not the satellite itself which might well determine whether it would be of a military or a peaceful nature. For example, a reconnaissance satellite could be used to map and photograph the surface of the earth for purposes of defense or attack. It could also provide vastly improved means for the study and exploration of the universe.26
Intelligence gathering was generally conceded to be entirely military, space science essentially civilian-although the military would necessarily be interested in certain aspects of space science. All else was contested: manned spaceflight, launch vehicle development, and applications like communications and meteorological uses of satellites. In the face of this dilemma the legislators chose to provide a framework that would give both the military and the civilian space agencies the necessary freedom of action, while requiring coordination and mutual assistance. Having established the framework, Congress would leave it to the two agencies to work out between them the appropriate division of labor and responsibility-precluding, of course, unwarranted duplication of effort.
The lack of a specifically prescribed program gave the first administrator of NASA a wide degree of latitude in selecting projects and missions to undertake, a freedom of choice that was but little curtailed by guidance that James Killian supplied in the summer of 1958, assigning manned spaceflight, meteorology, passive communications, and science to NASA, and active communications and reconnaissance to the Department of Defense. The latitude NASA enjoyed permitted the development of a broadranging program of science and exploration, and the accompanying development of technology and the application of space techniques to practical uses. During the first several years this situation was entirely in keeping with the spirit of the times, and on the Hill there was more questioning of whether NASA was being bold enough than there was concern about overstepping any bounds. In fact, it was conservatism within the administration that led to considerable moderation in building up the program.
The climate was ideal for the growth of a space science program. Not being prescribed in detail-as far as science was concerned the NASA Act [96] simply called for "the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space"27 - the science program could be permitted to unfold in keeping with the scientific process. Relying on the nation's scientists, including the National Academy of Sciences, NASA proceeded to attack the scientific problems of the atmosphere and space that the scientists themselves deemed most important and most likely to produce significant new information. The organization of the space science program, the establishment of advisory committees, the agency's funding requests, and the means by which individual scientists, universities, and other research organizations were invited to participate-all were designed to make the space science program a creature of working scientists, in the conviction that such an approach would produce the best possible program for the country.
In many ways, although it didn't always seem so to the scientists, space science occupied a favored position. As a means of diverting attention from the military overtones of the Sputnik crisis, President Eisenhower had favored a national space program with a scientific complexion. During the months of discussion on the Hill, there never arose the slightest question but that space science would be an essential element of the national space program. Long lists of scientists were called as witnesses, or their opinions sought by letter as to what to do. The importance of science to the program and the importance of a civilian arena for science, plus the international character of science, contributed to the argument for placing the space program in the hands of a civilian agency. Reinforcing such considerations in the minds of congressmen and senators was the image of success science had acquired in the International Geophysical Year that had brought forth the Sputnik challenge.
Of course, the freedom that the first administrator of NASA enjoyed in developing the civilian space program had also been accorded the military services in pursuing military interests in space. As already mentioned, it was the military potential of space that aroused the concern and held the attention of many legislators, and that virtually guaranteed a formally designated national space program. But the broad overlap of common interests that had stymied the legislators in their efforts to effect a satisfactory division between the civilian and the military in the first place was a potential source of conflict between the new agency and the military services. Such conflict the National Aeronautics and Space Council and especially the Civilian-Military Liaison Committee, called for in the NASA Act, were intended to handle.
Another feature of the NASA Act that was of importance to space science was the provision of a single responsible head for the agency. Under the pressure of a national clamor to close the gap with the Russians in space-a pressure continually reinforced by the urging of Congress to get on with the task-NASA had its best chance to break away from the [97] conservatism that had characterized its predecessor. To continue the old NACA structure, as NACA officials had urged, with an advisory board determining policy and shielding the director from many of these outside pressures, might well have had a greater impact on science than on other aspects of the space program. Boards and committees tend to be conservative. Paradoxically, scientists as a class are quite conservative. As a group they would doubtless have been content to move more slowly, more cautiously, less expensively, making the most of the tools already developed in preference to the creation of larger, more versatile-and more expensive-tools. Exposed directly to the outside pressures to match or surpass the Soviet achievements in space, NASA moved more rapidly with the development of observatory-class satellites and the larger deep-space probes than the scientists would have required (chap. 12). Some of the most intense conflicts between NASA and the scientific community arose later over the issue of the small and less costly projects versus the large and expensive ones-a conflict that NASA's vigorous development of manned spaceflight exacerbated.
Of course, the scientific community is not monolithic, and there were so many widely differing opinions on these matters as to make speaking of a single position of the scientific community nonsense. Nevertheless it seems clear that the new organizational structure prescribed for NASA not only helped NACA people drop much of their conservatism, but also had an impact on the space science program in effecting a faster development of more advanced space tools than many leading scientists would have called for.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 was a remarkable piece of legislation, and the process which produced it even more noteworthy. The thoroughness with which the subjects of space and its potentials and implications were investigated and studied, the thoughtfulness given to the issues raised, and the care taken in responding to the crisis precipitated by Sputnik provide a model that could well be commended as a pattern for the handling of legislative matters. As a practical matter, however, it is not likely that the Congress could find the time and resources to devote such attention to more than a select few of the issues that come before it. Also, few other issues are so free of partisan concerns and vested interests.
At any rate, the act provided an effective framework for both the civilian and military components of the nation's space research and exploration. In the course of time, some changes were found desirable.28 Perhaps the most telling were those in coordination, the area in which Congress had displayed so much concern and on which so much time had been spent. President Eisenhower made little use of the Aeronautics and Space Council and did not provide a permanent staff for it, so it was left to NASA and the Bureau of the Budget to do the staff work. In April 1961 the NASA Act was amended to place the National Aeronautics and Space [98] Council in the Executive Office of the President, to replace the president with the vice president as chairman, to decrease the size of the council, and to broaden its functions to include cooperation "among all departments and agencies of the United States engaged in aeronautical and space activities."29 Also the Civilian-Military Liaison Committee proved ineffective from the start. In September 1960 NASA and the Department of Defense jointly established an Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board, cochaired by the deputy administrator of NASA and the Defense Department's director of defense research and engineering. Because it worked, the AACB rapidly took over the functions of the Civilian-Military Liaison Committee. The new board succeeded because its cochairmen and members were in positions of authority in their respective agencies, where they could personally put into effect agreements arrived at in the board. No longer of any use, the liaison committee was abolished by reorganization in July 1965.30 There were some other changes, and additional authorities were acquired from related legislation-such as the authority to award grants in support of basic science.31 But, all in all, the strength and effectiveness of the NASA legislation lay in the original act of 1958.
Under its provisions NACA prepared to move out on its new career-as NASA. Dryden was not chosen as the first administrator. In retrospect it is easy to see why. The cautious and diffuse approach of the NACA with which Dryden was identified, and Dryden's conservative views on the budget needed by the new agency, did not jibe with the legislators' sense of urgency in space matters.32 Instead of Dryden, T. Keith Glennan-president of Case Institute of Technology, former head of the Navy's New London Underwater Sound Laboratories, and for two years a member of the Atomic Energy Commission-was chosen. In spite of the difficulties with Congress, Dryden had an undiminished reputation for technical and administrative competence which led Glennan to ask specifically for him as his deputy.
After a brief preparatory period, Glennan officially opened NASA's doors on 1 October 1958. Space science was one of the first of NASA's programs to flourish. Nevertheless it was not the Sputnik crisis that brought space science into being. What Sputnik did achieve was to break out much of the U.S. space program, including space science, from under the military wing where it had resided during the pioneering years. Had it no been for the shock generated by Sputnik, the American space program would probably have evolved into one largely devoted to military objectives-with space science as an adjunct. Under such circumstances, in spite of the commendably enlightened policies of the U.S. military establishment regarding support of basic research, the free play of the scientific process would have been difficult to maintain. Pressures would have been in the direction of supporting research with military applications and imposing security classification on some of the results. With the program in NASA, [99] the scientific community was in a stronger position to impress its brand on American space science and to work openly with foreign colleagues when that seemed appropriate.
Yet it is of interest that the members of the Academy of Sciences and of the President's Science Advisory Committee who had worked so hard to push the space program in the direction of science and toward the civilian arena were not those who proceeded to carry out the space science program. As leaders of the scientific establishment, they continued to be beset by the problems of maintaining adequate appreciation and support for science in general; and as soon as the space program was launched they returned to these broader matters. Rather, it was those who had already been engaged in rocket and satellite work, especially those working on projects connected with the International Geophysical Year, who began to develop the nation's space science program. These individuals, with years of experience behind them in industry, on the Rocket and Satellite Research Panel, and in the IGY program, naturally had proprietary feelings about space research; and it was easy for them to regard the space science program as very much their own creation. But the academy, from its association with IGY, and PSAC from its role in laying the legislative foundation for NASA, also had certain proprietary feelings about the program. There arose accordingly a tension-constructive for the most part-between NASA managers and advisers in the academy and on PSAC. The issues of what the space science program should be, how it should be carried out, and who should make the decisions arose early and recurred continually throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s.