Nasa Space Program

Topics: Project Gemini, NASA, Human spaceflight Pages: 2 (685 words) Published: May 19, 2013
With the lifting of the Berlin Blockade in 1945 came the start of the Cold War. It was the beginning of nearly 50 years of a new generation of war. The United States and Russia combated each other in terms of military prowess, economic power, and technological development. The later brought on the “Space Race.” There’s little clarity on where the race would end, but it’s generally regarded that the race was one to land on the moon. Although it was a product of war, the space race was a great thing. It pushed both sides to rapidly develop space technology and exploration to new limits at every turn. Every time Russia won a milestone, America pushed harder, eventually winning the race to land on the moon. Without the space race, the world’s ability to explore space would be light years behind where it is now. America’s space program progression in the early 1950s was slow. On 4 October 1957, Russia launched Sputnik I into space and catapulted the race to a whole new level. The intent of Sputnik was as propaganda, detracting from the fact that the rocket used to put it in orbit could also be used to transport a Hydrogen Bomb around the globe. Sputnik’s greatest contribution to the space race was highlighting the inefficiency of America’s defenses (or offenses) in a ballistic missile fight. Sputnik instigated America’s call to space and started the space race. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was born on October 1, 1958, just shy of one year after Russia proved it’s ability to launch an object into space. Its mission was laid out: “An Act to provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes.” The “other” purposes indicated the program’s involvement in strategic national defense. NASA’s initial bid into the Space Race was with Project Mercury. The program had three stated goals: orbit a manned spacecraft around the Earth, investigate man’s ability to function...
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