History Of The Space Race

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Similar to two children vying for their parent’s attention, the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a battle of pride and wit. This battle of technological prowess began amidst the Cold War. Both sides fought to push the boundaries even further on space travel. The Soviet Union may of won the first part of the Space Race during the Cold War Era, but the United States quickly began building their space program using a methodical approach. The United States overtaking the Soviet Union was directly caused by the early portion of the space race, Project Gemini and Mercury buildings towards the Apollo 11 mission, and the manned mission to the moon. The Space Race began with the startling Soviet launch of Sputnik 1, the United…show more content…
Previously to Sputnik 1, the International Council of Scientific Unions declared the International Geophysical Year (IGY) July 1st 1957, to December 31st 1958. The United States announced plans to launch an Earth-Orbiting satellite for the IGY. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. The United States believed that the Soviets were incapable of such feats. Sputnik signaled the U.S.S.R.'s capability in rocketry and their potential to dominate space, (Aaseng, 21). “Politicians were outraged and proclaimed the existence of a "missile gap," which Senator John F. Kennedy exploited during his 1960 presidential campaign.” (Veve). There was an immense amount of tension following John F. Kennedy’s use of the ‘United States on the forefront of space exploration’. The startling launch of Sputnik caused much political fury, triggering Congress to create a new government agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1957, (McGowan, 113). This agency would be used to propel the American side of the Space Race. The Soviets continued to produce other remarkable space first that the United States seemed unable to duplicate. The Soviet Luna missions were the first successful satellites to break…show more content…
The Soviet Union dominated much of the early aspects of the space race. However, the United Stated used a methodical building approach that was achieved due to the earlier stages of the space race, Project Gemini and Mercury achievements, and the manned mission to the moon. The Space Race was a milestone in human history, its beginning will always be remembered as a race between two battling super powers of the time. Astronaut Neil Armstrong fulfilled as dream as old as humanity as he took the first human steps onto a planetary body, “That's one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind." (Mcgowen,

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