The behind-the-scenes story of the fierce battles on earth that launched the superpowers into space. Khrushchev was frustrated at America's U-2 spy plane, which flew too high to be shot down. But Russia's chief rocket designer, had an answer: an artificial satellite that would orbit the earth and cross American skies at will. The launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957, stunned the world. Sputnik set in motion events that led not only to the moon landing but also to cell phones, federally guaranteed student loans, and the wireless Internet. Journalist Brzezinski takes us inside the Kremlin, the White House, secret military facilities, and the halls of Congress to bring to life the Russians and Americans who feared and distrusted their compatriots as much as their rivals. It is a story rich in the paranoia of the time.--From publisher description.