It is forgotten often that before we had the first man in space the space race was about launching satellites. The possibility of taking "the high ground" where no one could dispute beacons, cameras, and radios.
Davis, Clive E. Messages from Space. New York: Dodd, Mead (95 p). 19 x 24 cm. Cloth, DJ. 1961.
Illustrated mostly with publicity photographs and aerospace contractor diagrams it is interesting to see how they tried to transmit a sense of wonder about this new technology.
The book ends with a description of the coming age of astronauts. I especially like this heroic image presented in the final paragraphs.