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Space Competition Between The United States And Soviet Russia

980 words - 4 pages

Throughout history there has been war, conflict, and competition. Usually this is destructive, however not in the instance of the space race. This was a competition between the United States and Soviet Russia to as one can easily guess, space. It was of course more complicated than this, it began just after the end of the cold war, and the competitiveness was not quite gone between the countries when Russia announced they would begin a space program, the world was surprised (as no other country had any space program) Especially the United States who still had a poor relationship with Russia, Thus began an important time in history which led to advancements in technology, knowledge, and even ...view middle of the document...

Another mission of great importance was Vostok I, the first manned spaceflight, launched on April 12, 1961 (the anniversary of the launch of Sputnik). It did a complete orbit of Earth, landing its pilot Yuri Gagarin safely back on land. Later Russian firsts included First duel manned spaceflight, first woman in space, first three man spaceflight, and the first spacewalk. These were all very important but there is more still to be done in the Space Race.
Meanwhile America was trying to keep up. In 1958 the American space program began with NASA, as well as two other lower funded programs oriented for national security purposes. NASA however was, as today based on space exploration and technological advancements. Finally on March 17, 1958 the first American satellite called Explorer I was launched, it was smaller than its Russian counterpart Sputnik, as was the rocket on which it was launched smaller than the Soviet R7. The smaller rockets caused for delays in manned spaceflights which required larger rockets. The first American manned spaceflight called Mercury I came May 5, 1961 this as well was once again smaller than the Soviet Vostok mission and reached low space but not orbit, the pilot Allan Shepard Splashed down (to land a spacecraft in the ocean or other body of water) safely. February the next year John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in Freedom I. Russia however remained far ahead of the U.S. it seemed unhopeful that America could ever catch up to them.
There seemed to be only one way to a definitive victory, one target in the minds of both Countries... to land a man on the moon. This was the final target – the finish line. In May, 1961 President John F. Kennedy announced the creation of an American lunar program and that...

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