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By Matt Baker
After the launch of Sputnik in 1957, the United States government believed that the Soviet Union had not only leapfrogged them technologically, but had become a grave threat. This resulted in the creation of a federal research and development arm—the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, later DARPA). Defense research efforts under this agency resulted in the unmanned Predator drone currently at work in Afghanistan and Iraq, the F-117 stealth fighter and most notably, ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet.