For the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1

September 07, 2007

Since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, contributions made by satellites to society have been enormous: instant awareness of sporting, political, and human events across the globe; immediate communication undreamt of 50 years ago; and the chance to see close-ups of planets and stars and share the excitement of astronauts in space. But a new book Spies in the Sky casts a spotlight on a little-known aspect of the Space Age - the military dimension.

Today, military satellites represent 25 percent of all satellites in orbit. In Spies in the Sky, Pat Norris argues that the developemnt of satellites has prevented nuclear Armageddon. He believes that the 'race to the Moon' between the two superpowers was a side effect of the Cold War, and that the most importanat event was the use of satellites by military powers to prevent the Cold War becoming a 'hot war.' He then focuses on the regional tensions of today, and looks ahead to what the future holds - a time when satellites could be the only defense against a nervous nuclear power using its nuclear weapons needlessly.

From the contents: Sputnik 1: its impact on the Soviets and the West.- After 50 years - satellites in our daily life.- Cold War nuclear stand-off - mutually assured destruction.- Spy satellites - then and now.- Problems of verifying an arms limitation treaty.- The first break through - ABM Treaty.- SALT - satellites underpin the agreement.- Fringe players: UK, France, China.- After the Cold War - regional tensions.- What the future holds.
For more information, visit

Pat Norris, LogicaCMG, Leatherhead, UK
Spies in the Sky
Surveillance Satellites in War and Peace
2007. XVIII, 222 p. 30 illus., 10 in color.
Softcover. EUR 26.95, £19.50, sFr 47.00, $34.95
ISBN 978-0-387-71672-5
Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK


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