THE NATION: Symbol of Hopes

Out of a commendable and well-kept secrecy, the U.S. fired—and guided—an 85-ft., 8,600-lb. Atlas intercontinental missile into orbit. Admittedly, the shot of the heavy bird, with its voice-receiving and transmitting equipment, was a calculated counter-symbol to the Russian Sputniks (see Space). But in the sweep of time it symbolized far more: the U.S. march into space, programed long before Sputnik stirred up the free world's self-doubters, was headed into a period of historic achievements that had important meanings both in space and on earth.

In the 14 months since Sputnik I, Russia's Khrushchev had repeatedly rattled his rockets in an...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!