How the Space Race Started
During the Cold War, things started to get tense between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both countries were rushing to produce nuclear weapons in an effort to get ahead of the other and gain power. Many Americans feared a nuclear war would soon start, so they built bomb shelters. In October 1957 the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik. “Americans feared that if the Soviet Union could launch a satellite, it could launch missiles to attack the United States.” After the launch of Sputnik the United States government established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA and we entered the space race.