Recognizing the war was lost, the German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and key members of his staff surrender to American forces near Reutte, Germany in early May. Within months, U.S. intelligence teams, under Operation Paperclip, interrogate German rocket personnel and sort through carloads of captured documents and equipment. Many of these German scientists and engineers join von Braun in the United States to continue their rocket work. Hundreds of captured V-2 rockets are also disassembled and shipped back to the United States.

On May 5, the Soviet army captures the German rocket facility at Peenemünde and hauls away any remaining equipment and personnel. In the closing days of the war in Europe, captured German rocket technology and personnel helps set the stage for the great missile and space race of the cold war

On July 16, the United States explodes the world's first nuclear weapon. The test shot, code named Trinity, occurs in a remote portion of southern New Mexico and changes the face of warfare forever. As part of the cold-war confrontation between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the nuclear-armed ballistic missile will become the most powerful weapon ever developed by the human race.

In October, a then-obscure British engineer and writer, Arthur C. Clarke, suggests the use of satellites at geostationary orbit to support global communications. His article, in Wireless World "Extra-Terrestrial Relays," represents the birth of the communications satellite concept—an application of space technology that actively supports the information revolution

Telescopes Mastery

Telescopes Mastery

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