Space Race

Topics: Cold War, World War II, Soviet Union Pages: 4 (1731 words) Published: August 27, 2012
The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics engaged in a battle of technology after World War II and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Both countries wanted wanted to show the world that they were the dominant military and technological superpower. This was called the cold war. There were no shots fired, but each competed to be the major superpower of the world after World War II. One way they tried to become the world superpower was through the Space Race. The Space Race caused ICBMs, the Race to the Moon, and Reconnaissance Satellites. The Space Race started October 4, 1957, when the Soviet space satellite “Sputnik” was launched. This led to a massive panic by the American population and government. America was scared that Sputnik was capable of launching nuclear weapons from space, feeling that the USA would be rendered almost defenseless from those types of attacks. The USSR tried to make it quite clear that Sputnik was not a weapon or spy satellite, but instead was made simply to test out space. The only kind of technology it had were radio-transmitters. Sputnik was launched by the world’s first ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile), which would up the ante of the space race because they could send nuclear warheads across the world. The Space Race became even quicker with the addition experience and intellect from some of the top German rocket engineers to both the Soviet and American systems. The scientists and rocket engineers of Nazi Germany were some of the brightest of that era. They created the world’s first rocket, the V-2 (Vengeance Missile). When Berlin was overrun by Allied Troops, Wernher von Braun, who was the head of the German rocket group, and all of his engineers surrendered to the Americans, who quickly flew them out to America. Likewise, when the Soviets reached Peenemünde where the main rocket house of the Germans was found, they sent all of the scientists and engineers that remained back...

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