Space Race

Space+Race

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After WWII came to an end in 1945  a new conflict began known as the Cold War.   The two super powers of the US democratic alliance known as NATO and the Soviet communist alliance known as the Warsaw Pact were against each other.   Since the enemy of our enemy; Russia defeated Germany things went  back to normal and the Soviets became our enemy once again.   American democratic values are the opposite of the communist dictatorship of Stalin.   We have different political beliefs.

On October 4th 1947 the Soviets launched ‘sputnik‘; the world’s first satellite sent successfully to orbit in space.  This worried Americans because they could send satellite to space and spy on other countries.  Americans also worried about the Soviet potential to send nuclear missiles around the world.  Shortly after the first launch, the Soviets launched ‘Sputnik’  II  with a female dog inside proving to everyone that a living being can survive  space flight.

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America’s effort to catch up to the Soviets was put to the test in January 1958 as they launched the first American satellite named “Explorer I.  This officially got them in the race.  Many Americans felt like Russia was the enemy and its biggest competitor.  The USSR was clearly ahead in the space race as they launched the first men in orbit, the first women in space, the first dual in space, even 3 men in space.

America needed a major come back and on May 25, 1961 President John F Kennedy announced to the nation that by the end of that century his goal was to land an American man on the moon and return him back home safely. and on July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 landed on the moon and millions of people around the world witnessed the first man to ever walk on the moon. On September 15, 1969 the space race was over and America came out victorious.

http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/

The race to space was a way to show the world who had better technology, and also to show the world who had the brains and money to carry out such expensive experiments.  America also wanted to send a message to its biggest enemy; the Soviets, and represent our democratic nation with great pride and accomplishment.

I wonder what would’ve  happened if America lost the race to space.  I imagine the Soviets would’ve been considered a higher power country and they probably would’ve been on top right now instead of America.