Sputnik Launches a Space Race



Print page

On October 4, 1957 the Soviet union successfully launched Sputnik. The Space Race between the USSR and the USA had begun!   Sputnik caught the worlds attention it changed everything because it showed us the new possibilities of outer space.

The first U.S satellite was launched soon after on January 31,  1958.  It was it was  only 22.8 inches in diameter.   After the Sputnik was launched the U.S. Defense Department responded by approving funds for a U.S. satellite project. On November 3, 1957  Sputnik II was launched by the USSR, carrying a much heavier payload, including a dog named Laika.  The race for sending living beings into space would reach a high point when the USA put men on the moon in 1969.




Why did it start as a competition?  How does it end with cooperation?

It started as a competition because the U.S. wanted to get to space before the Soviet union did. The Soviet Union was winning the space race in the beginning but in the end the U.S. won because they had more power and money. It ended with cooperation because in the 1980’sand 90’s the two countries came together to plan the International Space Station. Today the ISS is the largest man made object in space. When men and women for China, Russia, and America can come together to view the world without political boundaries this gives us hope for peace in the future. Today their is more funding from private business which also leads to greater international cooperation.