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Hugh Slotten with book image

In Beyond Sputnik and the Space Race, Associate Professor Slotten draws on detailed archival records to examine the full range of decisionmakers involved in establishing the Intelsat system.

Otago Honorary Associate Professor Hugh Slotten has been awarded the 2022 Eugene M. Emme Award from the American Astronautical Society for his book Beyond Sputnik and the Space Race.

The book is a fascinating account of how the United States established the first global satellite communications system to project geopolitical leadership during the Cold War.

“I was thrilled and honoured to receive the award. I spent years conducting research for the book and was fortunate to receive support that allowed me to finish writing it, including from the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.,” says Associate Professor Slotten.

Associate Professor Slotten first became interested in this topic while working on a previous book on the history of radio and television, when he had a position in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University.

“It was clear that the introduction of satellite communications during the 1960s had important international implications for television broadcasting and I was very interested in exploring this in the new book. In general, during recent years, I have been mainly focusing on global developments in the history of communications as well as the history of science and technology.”

The annual Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Awards, named for NASA’s first Historian, recognise outstanding books that advance public understanding of astronautics. They reward originality, scholarship and readability.

Read more and order: Beyond Sputnik and the Space Race | Hopkins Press (

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