The world's first satellite, Sputnik (AP/Wide World)

It is 1957 and the U.S. and the Soviet Union are locked into the Cold War. The Soviet Union has just launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik. Fearful of Soviet military control of space, the Americans quickly ready a rocket. With the world watching, it blows up. Making fun of then-President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower, one newspaper proclaims, "Stayputnik. Ike's Sputnik Is a Flopnik."

The space race is on — and the Soviets are winning.

Why is America afraid of the Soviet Union controlling space? What could Soviet control of space mean for the Cold War?