Hamblin 4

US spying in the Soviet Union was not very successful, so scientific and technological alternatives were a prioritybook on the International
                  Geophysical Year

All of this military work required monitoring stations around the world and provided much new scientific knowledge, leading to the International Geophysical Year in 1957-58

carbon dioxide measurements from
              the south pole
radiation dangers chart
The development of hydrogen bombs a thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima made nuclear weapons more dominant in thinking about total war but also raised questions about world wide circulation of radioactive material from bomb tests

another story:

Missiles and Satellites

 Titan ICBM
 Atlas ICBM
Reconnaissance was a big need:

With all the rocket building, satellites were so clearly in the works that they were made part of the plans for the International Geophysical Year, a cooperative research effort in 1957-1958

 Sputnik 1, National Air and Space Museum