Geophysical Year

November 14, 1956

Report Outline
Preparations for 1957-58 Geophysical Year
Highlights of the United States Program
Foreign Plans for the Geophysical Year

Preparations for 1957-58 Geophysical Year

Preparations for the International Geophysical Year, 1957–1958, are well advanced in the United States and other countries participating in the worldwide scientific survey that has been called man's most ambitious study of his physical environment. More than 5,000 scientists and engineers in some 55 nations are mobilizing equipment and supporting personnel for intensive investigations to be conducted simultaneously in all parts of the world.

The first fully equipped scientific expeditions set out for the Antarctic this month. By early January, 11 countries will have a chain of polar outposts in operation. The purpose will be to explore the world's least known continent and to carry out coordinated observations of atmospheric conditions in the south polar regions. The United States and the Soviet Union have developed plans for similar atmospheric observations near the North Pole which will be made from floating bases established on ice floes in the Arctic Ocean.

American and Soviet Work on Man-Made Moons

Progress has been reported by American scientists working on projects for exploration of the upper atmosphere by rockets and earth-circling satellites to be launched during the geophysical year. Russia has made no recent report on its similar project, but it is reportedly seeking to be the first to launch a man-made moon. Several nations, including Great Britain, France, and Japan, are preparing to join this country and the Soviet Union in shooting research rockets into the stratosphere and beyond.

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