cold war

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."

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