As most know, the accomplishments of the United States and Soviet space programs were really an extension of and, in most ways, a practical application of the missile technology of the era. Machines built to send nuclear warheads across the oceans were equally suited to send payloads into orbit around the Earth.
Of course, accomplishing either successfully requires precision guidance. In this 1962 film from Bell Labs, you will see how an actively guided missile would be flown and controlled. The film is simple enough that most anyone can understand what is going on, and deals with the complexities of trajectories in an approachable way.
It’s an oddly cute film, in some ways, but also disturbing as the subject matter at hand, in the end, is the successful nuclear annihilation of a target somewhere in the Soviet Union.
The cold war was something else…