I heard a piece on the radio about the Eisenhower memorial. He may be the most under-rated president in modern times. When the Russians launched Sputnik, there were several options we could have taken. We could have launched a protest of some sort, asserting our airspace. We could have developed a method to destroy satellites that cross over NATO boundaries. Instead, we launched SCORE, and cemented the idea of free space that the Soviets started with their “fellow traveler.”
To imagine a President who did not make that decision is to imagine a world today without communications satellites, weather satellites or a GPS system.