By David N Spires; United States. Air Force Space Command.; Air University (U.S.). Press.; et al
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Extra resources for Beyond horizons : a half century of Air Force space leadership
The reconnaissance portion drew the most attention from the Air Force . Based on detailed analysis, it advocated "pioneer reconnaissance," or extensive coverage using television with a resolution of between 4o and Zoo feet, in a 1,ooo-pound payload with a space vehicle weight of 74,ooo pounds . With improvements in television technology, the researchers expected to achieve the 4o-foot dimension in the near future . They hoped this would permit satellites to conduct all military reconnaissance and finally satisfy the skeptics .
Much of the criticism focused on the old issue of warhead weight. Yet by 1950 the Atomic Energy Commission affirmed the existence of a sufficient number of atomic weapons small enough to be carried in guided missiles . Moreover, President Truman noted that in early 195o his military service chiefs proceeded with elaborate plans to use the H-bomb on the assumption that the tests he had just authorized would be successful . Test results at Eniwetok in November 1952 proved the feasibility of thermonuclear technology and confirmed their optimism .
With passage of the National Security Act of 1947, the Research and Development Board replaced the joint Research and Development Board . Dr . Vannevar Bush continued as chairman until his retirement in October 1948 . Neither he nor those active on subordinate committees, like the Committee on Guided Missiles, possessed the authority needed to provide the firm direction . Too often they allowed the complex committee system to work to their disadvantage and avoid decisive action . Throughout the conflict over roles and missions, the Air Force demonstrated more interest in gaining and preserving its prerogatives than moving ahead with a strong missile research and development program .
Beyond horizons : a half century of Air Force space leadership by David N Spires; United States. Air Force Space Command.; Air University (U.S.). Press.; et al