Why was the internet created: 1957 Sputnik launches ARPA

Geek History explores why was the internet created: 1957 Sputnik launches ARPA

One of the often debated questions is what was the original reason for creating the internet.

1957: Sputnik launches ARPA

With the Soviet Union's launching of Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, in 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to address the needs of technology research and development.

While many people contributed to the creation of the internet along the way, many of the early contributors to the internet were working on the project on behalf of ARPA.

The catalyst for the creation of ARPA was the launch of Sputnik, along with the tensions of the cold war in 1957. The goal of ARPA was to address the technology needs of the U.S Department of Defense. ARPA would be the parent of the computer network of the ARPANET.

According to the DARPA website:

"For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security."

"The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises."

When was internet invented and who invented the internet

Geek History explores who invented the internetIn the case of the internet, and various internet technologies, they were not conceptualized in a single invention or event, but have evolved over time as the result of many events. The creation of the internet is the work of many visionaries that we discuss here at Geek History.

If you study the history of the United States in the 1960s, you will see the unlikely cold war partnership that created the internet as ground breaking as the technology they were creating. On one hand you had the California universities full of college students organizing demonstrations protesting against the Vietnam war. You would not think the universities would see the military as their friend. But on the other hand you have various projects funded by ARPA (the Department of Defense) using these same universities to research the concepts that would create the framework for the ARPAnet.

There are many facets of the internet that were unprecedented. University geeks using Department of Defense money to create a world wide communications network, with parts and accessories being built by American companies. The creation of the internet shows what is possible when the government, the academic world, and business, join forces and work together. It brought together very different people to work for one common mission.

The concept of a "world wide web" to be built upon the internet was not the improvement on any existing idea, because anything world wide was pretty non existent the 1950s.

When was internet invented?

To answer the question when was internet invented we need to put the question into perspective. Many people use the term internet interchangeably with "the web" or world wide web. The internet is the information super highway, the infrastructure on which we travel. HTML and Web browsers make up the world wide web, the vehicle we use to travel on the highway.

The Internet we know today was not developed from a single network that simply grew and grew, it was an evolution of many different communications and technology tools coming together.


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