The Space Race Essay

The Space Race during the Cold War Essay

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The Space Race during the Cold War

During the Cold War, the United States and Russia had a severe space race between one another. Every time one country would be a step ahead of the other, and somehow one of the countries would catch up to the more advanced country at the time. During the early years of the space race, success was measured by what nation did what first: To the alarm of the United States, each of the early adventures were achieved by the Soviet Union. And all of those events triggered the United States to drive and catch up with to surpass the Soviet Union. This sort of see-saw method happen throughout the space race. Throughout this paper, there will be a discussion on the space race between the United Stated and…show more content…

The Soviets wanted to study the earth’s atmosphere, the behavior of animals in space, and the testing of rocket technology. Russia launched Sputnik 1, which carried a dog, into space. This helped to understand how humans might react in space and through the reentry process. The United States was urged to invest more of their money and resources into its space program, generating a race between the two countries to land a person on the moon. The whole race started on October 4, 1957, when the first Sputnik was launched. This satellite weighed about 184 pounds and the official name of it was "Iskustvennyi Sputnik Zemli" (1). Which meant "fellow world traveler of the earth". To counteract the United States’ launch of the Explorer 1, a satellite that included a rocket motor, the Russian’s responded with Sputnik 3 on May 15, 1958. The first three Sputnik satellites all carried instruments to measure the temperature and density of the earth’s upper atmosphere. Solar energy was used for the first time by Sputnik 3 to power its instruments and transmitters.

From 1958 to 1959 the Soviet Union put a hold on the Sputnik program to focus on the Luna series of vehicles that were being sent toward the moon. On October 4, 1959, exactly two years after the first Sputnik launch, the Soviet Union sent the first spacecraft around the moon. Luna 3 recorded images of the Moon’s surface and broadcast

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By the mid-1950s, the U.S.-Soviet Cold War had worked its way into the fabric of everyday life in both countries, fueled by the arms race and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, wide-ranging espionage and counter-espionage between the two countries, war in Korea and a clash of words and ideas carried out in the media. These tensions would continue throughout the space race, exacerbated by such events as the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the outbreak of war in Southeast Asia.

Did You Know?

After Apollo 11 landed on the moon's surface in July 1969, six more Apollo missions followed by the end of 1972. Arguably the most famous was Apollo 13, whose crew managed to survive an explosion of the oxygen tank in their spacecraft's service module on the way to the moon.

Space exploration served as another dramatic arena for Cold War competition. On October 4, 1957, a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile launched Sputnik (Russian for “traveler”), the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit. Sputnik’s launch came as a surprise, and not a pleasant one, to most Americans. In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose too much ground to the Soviets. In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile–seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U.S. air space–made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent.

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