RACE TO SPACE

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"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish...." - John F. Kennedy

The Space Race refers to the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union between 1957 and 1975, involving their efforts to explore space with satellites and to eventually land a human being on the Moon and return him to Earth. The race to space was is defined as a competition between two or more states, international organizations, or nongovernmental organizations to advance in space exploration and technology. Though it began in early rocket technology and in the international tensions following World War II, the Space Race effectively began with the Soviet launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik in 1957. The term was was used as an analogy to the arms race. The Space Race became an important part of the cultural and technological rivalry between the USSR and the U.S. during the Cold War. Space technology was a particularly important arena in this conflict, both because of its military applications and due to the psychological benefit of raising morale (See Figure 1).
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"The cold war would become the great engine, the supreme catalyst, that sent rockets and their cargoes far above Earth and worlds away. If Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, Goddard, and others were the fathers of rocketry, the competition between capitalism and communism was its midwife."
William E. Burrows, This New Ocean, "The Other World Series", p. 147

Influence On The Cold War

Influential People

Neil Armstrong:

Buzz Aldrin:

Yuri Gagarin:

Commanders and Leaders
James E. Webb
Robert R. Gilruth
Wernher Von Braun
Christopher Kraft
George Low
Thomas O. Paine
Samuel C. Phillips
Sergey Korolyov
Vladimir Chelomey
Vasily Mishin
Nikolai Kamanin
Valentin Glushko

Figure 1: Timeline (1957-1975)

Date
First Success
Country
Mission Name
1946
Animal in space (fruit flies)
USA
V2
August 21 1957
ICBM
USSR
R-7/SS-6 Sapwood
October 4 1957
Artificial satellite
USSR
Sputnik 1
November 3 1957
Animal in orbit (dog)
USSR
Sputnik 2
January 31 1958
Detection of Van Allen belts
USA
Explorer I
December 18 1958
Communications satellite
USA
Project SCORE
September 14 1959
Probe to Moon
USSR
Luna 2
February 17 1959
Weather satellite
USA
Vanguard 2
August 7 1959
Photo of Earth from space
USA
Explorer 6
August 18 1960
Reconnaissance satellite
USA
KH-1 9009
April 12 1961
Human in orbit
USSR
Vostok 1
March 18 1965
Extra-vehicular activity
USSR
Voskhod 2
December 15 1965
Orbital rendezvous
USA
Gemini 6A/Gemini 7
March 1 1966
Probe to another planet
USSR
Venera 3
July 21 1969
Human on the Moon
USA
Apollo 11
April 23 1971
Space station
USSR
Salyut 1
July 15 1975
First U.S.-USSR joint mission
USSR and USA
-Soyuz Test Project
(Reference: "Space Race - Timeline." Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - WordIQ Dictionary. Web. 07 Jan. 2011. <http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Space_race>.)
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