On October 4th, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first man-made earth satellite, Sputnik 1. The American public was shocked by what appeared to be a triumph of Soviet engineering, and further dismayed by the televised, and spectacular, failure of the the American Vanguard Test Vehicle 3 launch vehicle two months later. Blame for what was seen as a point of national shame was laid at many doorsteps: It was a leadership failure. It was a strategy failure. It was an industrial failure. It was a failure of both . . .
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