The Space Race Essay
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The Space Race was a competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space. From 1955 until 1975, both sides battled it out to be the leader in the competition. Fueled by the Cold War and other causes of the beginning of the race, the Soviet Union and the United States fought for authority in a very public manner through the media. There were many achievements at this time and it led the way for many great things to come afterwards.
The origins of the Space Race can be found in Germany in the 1930s. During World War II, Nazi Germany was researching and building operational ballistic missiles and experimenting with liquid-fueled rockets. As early as 1942 and 1943, the rocket Aggregate-4 became the first vehicle…show more content…
Here, Korolev reverse engineered the A-4 and built his own version, the R-1 in 1948. While this was going on in the Soviet Union, the United States sent von Braun and his team to the United States Army’s White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico in 1945. Here, they assembled captured V-2s and launched them. In 1950, they were moved to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama where the Army’s first operational medium-range ballistic missile, the Redstone Rocket, was developed. Because of the threat of the nuclear weapons and communism, the Cold War developed after World War II between the Soviet Union and the United States. This led to the expressed conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, extensive aid to the states deemed vulnerable, proxy wars, espionage, propaganda, a nuclear arms race, and economical and technological competitions, such as the Space Race.
In 1955 both the Soviet Union and the United States were building ballistic missiles that could be used to launch objects into space. This became the starting line for the race into space. Four days apart in unrelated announcements, both the Soviets and the Americans announced their plans to launch artificial Earth satellite by 1957 or 1958. On 29 July 1955, James C. Hagerty, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s press secretary,
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.