Space Technology and Its Effect on America

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There have been many technological advances that have greatly affected America such as computers, cell phones and even satellite services. But, I think the most important of all technological advances would be the space program. Without the technology gained from our space program, all the other items would have never happened or would have taken a lot longer to be developed.

It all began in the late 1950’s with the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik. Prior to that most Americans assumed that the United States was superior to all other countries when it came to technology. With Russia apparently becoming the leader in space exploration, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). To help ensure that highly trained individuals would be available to help America compete with the Soviet Union in scientific and technical fields, the NDEA included support for loans to college students, the improvement of science, mathematics, and foreign language instruction in elementary and secondary schools, graduate fellowships, foreign language and area studies, and vocational-technical training. (ED.gov, para 7, 2008) In response to Russia’s apparent lead in the field of space exploration, America launched their first satellite, a scientific satellite called Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958. (Garber, 2007) On December 18, 1958 the first American communication satellite, Project Score was launched. It relayed a Christmas message to the world from President Eisenhower. (Martin,) That same year also saw the formation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This period of time is now referred to as the Space Race. During the Space Race, technology in the fields of aerospace engineering and electronic communication made great advances. The effects of the Space Race however, went beyond science and communications and affected the everyday lives of Americans. With the onset of space age technology came what are now commonplace...
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