Space Race

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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had been done in 1969 A.D., not on this planet, but on the moon. A nation had come together and done the unthinkable, they placed a man on the moon. For the first time man was free from the confines that God had created and saw the true world.

In 1957 the world was a very different place than today. The two greatest nations were fighting not on the battlefield, but with bragging rights. The Cold War had started and the two countries began a struggle that would last for decades. There were three main reasons that led to the costly and frantic competition between the U.S. and Soviet's space programs. The most prominent reason for spending billions of dollars was to demonstrate the technological superiority of one form of government over another. The second reason was the mysteries and discoveries that space contained. The third reason was the adventure.

The Soviet Union saw space exploration as way of showing the world that they were technologically and socially superior to the United States. Space exploration soon became their means of proving this. On October 4, 1957 the Soviets launched the first man-made satellite into Earth's orbit . Sputnik was a 184-pound aluminum ball with a twenty-two inch diameter equipped with a primitive transmitter with four d orbited the earth 1,400 times or about once every ninety-five minutes at 18,000 M.P.H. The Soviets were so proud of their achievement that they rebroadcast the transmissions of the satellite all over the world.

When American's learned about Sputnik they went into panic as well as many of America's NATO allies. Space was viewed as the high ground of the Cold War and now the Soviets had it. American's were still scared from Pearl Harbor and were deathly afraid that the Soviets could launch...