A Place Other Than Earth Essay

1505 words - 6 pages

On July 20, nineteen sixty-nine, the world stopped dead in its tracks and changed forever, humans had stepped foot on something besides the earth, the moon. The United States had beaten every other country to the moon. It was a hard mission to achieve, because it takes a lot of people and time to land on the moon, a lot of bravery and money, and we the United States did it first!The landing on the moon ended a thirteen year competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. In October nineteen fifty-seven, the Soviet Union had created the first artificial earth satellite, named Sputnik. This began the race for space. As early as the nineteen twenties, scientists and engineers from all over the world, such as the Russian Constantin Ziolokovsky, the German Hermann Oberth, the American Robert Goddard, and the Frenchman Robert Esnault-Pelterie, for the most part jealous of one another's work, but had figured out many theoretical and mathematical foundations, by means of high-powered rockets (Chaikin 201).Small groups and organizations were forming during the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties. A few were the German "Society for Space Travel", The Britain Interplanetary Society, and the American Rocket Society. They were made to perform experiments with rockets and discuss space exploration, but unfortunately none of these programs had enough funds to conduct the experiments necessary to figure out the mysteries of space. At the end of the nineteen thirties, in most countries the research and experimenting of space was at a standstill. Germany was the only country to continue research because the military in the country was interested in the possibility of using rockets and had established a rocket research group in the Army Weapons Office, in nineteen thirty-two. Under the command of Colonel Walter Dornberger, a German Army engineer, and Werner von Braun, a young scientist, this group of people, with a sufficient amount of funds, successfully created a series of rockets ending with the A-4 and V-2 rocket. They used these to bombard England at the end of World War two. By far, the V-2 was the better of the two. It had a range of almost two hundred miles, could deliver a payload of more than 2,205 pounds, and could reach an altitude of more than one hundred miles (Chaikin 159-160)After the war, both the Russians and the United States secured large amounts of the powerful V-2 rockets, and sent them home for study and experimenting. Braun and his staff ended up in the hands of the Americans and eventually moved to the States to help with research on rockets. And in the late nineteen forties these men and American scientists continued their research program on rockets. Also in 1949, an American High Altitude rocket named "WAC-Corporal," fitted to a V-2 rocket as a booster, set a new altitude record of 250 miles, and by 1953, scientists developed an even more powerful rocket named "Redstone Rocket". However, the US government was not...

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