The Cold War of Space

Virginia Kauders

What Is The Space Race?

The space race was a race during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to try to advance faster and better than the other country in space technology and exploration. The Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in 1961, and in response, the US launched one less than one year later. The Soviets also had the first prober land on the moon and the first man to orbit earth. The US had the first men walk on the moon, which effectively "won" them the space race that had begun with the launch of the Sputnik.

Soviet Union vs. United States - In Outer Space!

Space Race-Cold War Parallels

The tension between the Soviet Union and the US in the space race was very similar to the Cold War. The struggle for power and beating the other country was also very similar. Like anything else of this era, the space race was all because of the Cold War. The ability to launch rockets and satellites gave the impression that these countries would be able to launch missiles as well, attacking the other country. The tensions ran high, and like the Cold War, the Space Race provoked fear and national pride. In a way, the Space Race was a representation of the Cold War, almost symbolic of it. Military benefits and world power were the driving forces of both the Space Race and the Cold War. In the same way as spreading a nation's ideals throughout other countries, the Space Race was a way for the US and the Soviet Union to demonstrate superiority. In 1975, the US and the Soviet Union launched a joint mission, with commanders from each country. When they officially met, they had a "handshake in space", said to symbolize the growing Soviet-US relations towards the end of the Cold War era.