Sputnik and the Cold War

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J. Vierck The Launch of Sputnik Russian Studies

On October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union Launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, people all over the world would see a new age of technology. The launch of Sputnik added a lot more tension to the cold war. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S, U.S.S.R space race. The Sputnik launch changed everything. As a technical achievement, Sputnik caught the world's attention and put the American public into a state of fear. As if American citizens were not already paranoid enough Russia launched another Sputnik, this time with a dog in it. Right after the Sputnik Iaunch in October, the U.S. Defense Department responded to the, "political challenge" by funding for a U.S. satellite project. On January 31, 1958 the United States successfully launched Explorer I. This whole series of events is what first established NASA.

Sputnik over America seven times a day, which with every orbit had American politicians waiting to see if it was more than just a satellite. It is hard to recreate the sense of paranoia this created throughout America, but America definitely knew they had to answer with a satellite of their own. Russia was prepared though which is the reason they made a second Sputnik. All this to show that they were one step ahead of America in the space race. The building of not only satellites but nuclear weapons also put Russia and America on thin ice with each other.

The tension between Russia and America were said to be at the highest point in the cold war. With the talk of satellites and nuclear weapon caches each country began to show their people with strong propaganda that they were good and the other country was the enemy. Countless false images about the other country were depicted to show that their governments' leader was harsh and treated people with brutality.

The cold war was...
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