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A Research Paper On The Effects Of Sutnik 1

1227 words - 5 pages

Chandler 1
The Soviet’s were responsible for putting man on the moon, rovers on Mars, and launching the Hubble Space Telescope. Indeed, it was the United States’ foes that drove the U.S. to accomplish perhaps the greatest feats of the twentieth century. Following the defeat of Germany and Japan in World War II, tensions between former allies, the United States and the Soviet Union, began to grow. In the following decades, the two superpowers would duke it out in competitions and tremendous shows of nationalism. They formed unmatchable rivalries in politics, economics, sciences, and sports. These rivalries would become clear when two countries competed in the space race, a competition ...view middle of the document...

Subsequently, “...the Soviets seized power over much of Eastern Europe with the might of its Red Army and supported communist and Soviet-friendly regimes throughout the region” (“Cold War” 1). The Cold War had begun. The Soviet’s detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949, making Americans extremely suspicious of the Soviet’s intents. Treaties were signed as the two countries increased military spending, anticipating a war. The U.S. signed an agreement called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with 11 other countries while the Soviets drafted it’s counterpart, the Warsaw Pact, six years later. Anxiety only grew as the Soviet’s communists ideas spread from eastern Europe to Asia. Hostilities died down in the early 1950’s due mainly in part to the death of communist dictator Joseph Stalin. Stalin “conducted major purges of CPSU, government, and Red Army leadership and held numerous secret trials and executions to eliminate opposition to his rule” ("Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)” 3). He simply eliminated all of his opposition to secure unlimited power. Stalin’s urge to spread the ideas of communism was a main cause of the Cold War. Therefore, upon his death, the feelings of animosity began to die down. However, the rivalry would be reignited again with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in space (“Cold War” 1). Before the launch, the U.S. had accomplished very little in space. They had no noteworthy missions before their launch of Explorer 1 in January of 1958, four months after Sputnik 1. Designed by space engineer, Sergei Korolev, the successful launch of Sputnik 1 took place on October 4th, 1957 from a site in Kazakhstan (“The Soviets Launch Sputnik 1: October 4, 1957” 3). Encased in the metal sphere was a radio transmitter, and instruments for observing “the density, temperature, and concentration of electrons in the upper atmosphere” (“Sputnik” 1). It was launched inside the emptied out casing of an intercontinental ballistic missile, proving that the Soviet’s had the technology to reach the U.S. with its nuclear warheads (Schurr 0:22). The U.S had no prior knowledge of the Soviet’s engineering proficiency in space before the launch of the satellite. Seen from all over Earth, the small 184 pound impact would have an unparalleled effect, changing life in the 1950’s forevermore (“Sputnik” 1).
The launch of Sputnik 1 compelled the government of the United States to create NASA to quell the fears of the American people and this led to the stimulation of education all across the...

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