The Space Race
and how it paralleled the cold war.
What was the "Space Race"?
The "Space Race" was a race between America and Russia to see who could get to space first and land on the moon. It began when The Soviet Union In the late 1950's the Russians sent up the first satellite,Sputnik 1. The launching of the satellite threw the Americans for a loop and they saw the Russians launching of Sputnik as a threat to American superiority.In the early 60's, Russia launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit, a short time later America launched Alan Shepard into space but not into orbit. In 1958 America launched their own satellite; the explorer. On May 25, 1961, newly elected president John Fitzgerald Kennedy stood before Congress and proclaimed that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth." JFK feared that the nation was losing the "Space Race" to Russia and he decided to progress America's effort on space. On September 12, 1962, JFK delivered his speech to a crowd of 35,000 people to let them in on his agenda to get a man on the moon. In 1962 John Glen became the first American man to orbit the moon
How did The "Space Race" parallel with the cold war?
The Space race parallels with the cold war because it's another battle between the U.S and The Soviet Union of one country trying to prove it's dominance. The battle differs because it was not fought with weapons or heavy artillery it was fought with the knowledge of science and mathematics. The information obtained about space was used to eject men into space; the world of the unknown. The tension between The U.S and Soviet Union pushed both countries to extremes to win the space race to prove one country excellence.
- In 1958 President Dwight Eisenhower launched N.A.S.A The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- Vostok 1 was the spacecraft Yuri Gagarin traveled in when he first orbited the moon
- Project Mercury was launched after Yuri Gagarin was sent to orbit. The project launched chimpanzees to the moon to test the spacecraft created to compete with Vostok 1.
- In 1967 three astronauts were killed when their aircraft caught fire and exploded.
- In 1968 Apollo 8 was launched and televised.
- Apollo 11 landed on the moons surface in July 1969.
- The first two men to land on the moon were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.