Space Race

Topics: Space exploration, NASA, Human spaceflight Pages: 2 (573 words) Published: August 26, 2013
The Space Race

The Space Race started at the beginning of the 1950s as World War II came to an end. It space travel became important as The United States continued to compete with the Soviet Union. The Space Race officially took flight on October 4, 1957 when a Soviet R-7 was launched into space. This satellite is also known as Sputnik. Sputnik caused much upheaval in the United States as Americans were not pleased by the idea that they had not been the first country to send something into orbit. Sputnik continued to gain importance when it was discovered that the missile was “seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U.S. air space--made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent.” (The Space Race).

The United States finally made their first launch into space in 1958. “Explorer I designed by the U.S. Army, under the direction of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun,” (The Space Race) was sent into space. That same year President Eisenhower signed the public order which created the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). After the creation of NASA the Space Race would continue to heat up when the Soviet space program launched Luna 2 which was the first space probe to hit the moon. As if that accomplishment wasn’t enough the Soviet continued to soar forward in Space exploration being the first country to send the first person to orbit the Earth. This was done so in a capsule-like spacecraft known as Vostok 1. The United States could not just sit back and be out done, so with much effort they build a smaller, cone-shaped capsule that was found to be far lighter than Vostok. This capsule would be used to test and conduct Project Mercury, an American name for the efforts to send a man into space. The U.S. used chimpanzees to test the space craft, and made one final test in March of 1961. On May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard became the first American in space. Later that same month...

References: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82 - NBC (n.d.). Retrieved from
The Space Race — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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