McDermott_Hood Space Race


It was a competition between the two cold war rivals, the Soviet Union and the United States.  The space race created pioneering efforts to be the first country with a satellite in space.  The Soviets were the first to enter space with their launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.  Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space from Russia.  The United States were the first humans to walk on the moon with their landing of apollo 11.  Neil Armstrong was the leader of apollo 11 and was the first man on the moon.  These two countries gained information on rocket making due to their cold war interactions, where they each discovered in depth, their ability to launch nuclear bombs.   The space race sparked increases on education and pure research.

So What?

After the launch of Sputnik tension grew between the US and USSR. This occurred because people believed that if the Russians can launch an object into space, they could launch a missile and attack the US. In order to keep up with the Russians, Eisenhower launched the NASA program, a program dedicated to space exploration. To monitor the USSR progression, the US used satellites used by the National Reconnaissance Office. In 1959 the Space Race took a giant leap by launching a probe to the moon, then in 1961 launching a man into orbit. In response the US sent a man into space, but was unable to get into orbit of Earth. John F. Kennedy then made bold statement saying the US would land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. After this bold action the budget for the NASA program increased by up to 500%! After setback of both the US and USSR, the United States of America was the first country to land a man on the moon. The men on board of Apollo 11 during this dangerous mission was Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Cousins. The most famous quote from this journey was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” -Neil Armstrong. The journey of Apollo 11 concluded the Space Race battle between the US and USSR. Along this whole journey the media covered this material to get the support of the American people while at the same time portraying the Soviets as an evil villain.


Now What?

We care about the space race today because it was the inspiration for the present day space programs. From this race National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded. Also the CIA  was founded in this race along with the National Reconnaissance Office. We are learning about this in the 2014 because it greatly changed our relationship with other countries and caused them to view the US as even more powerful. They now saw how the US was the superior country over the USSR. Along with winning the race we greatly improved our technology which is now the bases for our modern technology. We are also are learning about this today to learn how to understand this occurred and how to make sure we win the races in the future.

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