30 April 2014
The Dark Side of the Moon Landing
The Final Frontier
In 1969, The United States successfully sent the first manned mission to the moon. It was a long time coming, a product of the Cold War’s Space Race. The Cold War began in 1947, between the Soviet Union and the United States. There was no actual fighting in the Cold War, just political conflict, military coalitions, and numerous competitions of brain rather than brawn. Among these competitions is the most famous Space Race. Although the Cold War commenced in 1947, the Space Race did not begin until 1955. The President of the United States at this time was Dwight Eisenhower. The first competition of the space race was to send artificial satellites into space, but what has made the Space Race so famous, was the competition to send a man to the moon.
The USSR’s Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, as he orbited around the earth for just over an hour. Three weeks later, The US sent Alan Shepard into space, though he never achieved orbit. The current president at this time was John F. Kennedy, who famously stated that he would send an American to the moon. On May 25 of 1961 Kennedy changed the final goal of the Space Race, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
An Uneasy Dallas
The year is 1963, Adlai Stevenson, the Ambassador to the United Nations travels to Dallas, Texas, for United Nations Day. Stevenson gives a speech at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, following his speech, a mass of right wing protestors gather. As Stevenson leaves the Auditorium e is struck on the head with a placard criticizing the UN. This was only a foreshadowing of the violent attack Dallas was soon to witness.
The campaign for the next President of the United States was to be held in a year, and the current President, Kennedy, was assumed to run. During the fall of 1963, Kennedy had been traveling the country, assumedly preparing for his next run for office. Two states were vital for Kennedy to win in the upcoming election year, Florida and Texas. Kennedy was aware that there were Anti-Kennedy extremists in Texas, but there were no outward threats to his life at the time and a trip to Texas was planned.
The Race to Space
One of the worst catastrophes during the Space Race was when the Soviet Union’s Chief Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin gave incorrect orders for control and shutdown procedures on an experimental rocket in October of 1960. The faulty repairs caused the rocket’s engine to fire onto propellant tanks, resulting in a spill of toxic fuel and an explosion. This disaster killed up to 150 of the best people in the military and technical field of the Soviet Union. Despite setbacks, the Soviet Union was able to send the first woman into space in 1963. In 1962, America successfully has a man, John Glenn orbit the Earth three...