When the Soviet Union demonstrated it possessed an operational intercontinental ballistic missile with the launch of Sputnik the world watched anxiously as the US engaged in a game of nuclear one-upmanship with the USSR. In the midst of rising tensions, Nicholas Christofilos, an eccentric physicist, brought forth an outlandish and ingenious idea known as project Argus: launching atomic bombs from the South Atlantic Ocean into outer space to fry incoming Soviet ICBMs with an artificial radiation belt. This plan was the biggest, most secret, and riskiest scientific experiment in history, and classified details of this operation have been long obscured... until now.
In Burning the Sky, Mark Wolverton tells the unknown and controversial story of this scheme to reveal a fascinating narrative almost completely forgotten by history - one that still has powerful resonances today. Drawing from recently declassified sources, Wolverton chronicles Christofilos's project from its inception to execution. With over a decade of experience researching and writing about the sociological and political impacts of the science of the Cold War, Wolverton is the ideal authority on this risky experiment. Meticulously researched, with the pacing of a thriller and the language of science fiction, Burning the Sky will intrigue any lover of scientific or military history and will remind readers why Project Argus remains frighteningly relevant nearly sixty years later.
MARK WOLVERTON is a science writer who has written widely on the history of the Cold War for a variety of magazines, including American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Smithsonian Air & Space, and American History. He is the author of The Depths of Space.