February 11, 2014
The First Moon Landing
On June 20th, 1969, Apollo 11 made history by being the first ever successful lunar landing ever. It took many years to accomplish this landmark in history. It was many people’s dreams, but very few thought it could ever become a reality.
In October, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, named Sputnik, to be hurled into orbit around the Earth. Sputnik was actually about the size of a beach ball, and sent pointless signals back to earth, but it had a huge affect on people around the world. It was a shiny steel ball about 23 inches across with four antennas the were behind it. Russian engineers wanted to make sure that people around the globe could not only see, but also hear it. Sputnik was polished so that it would reflect light that could be seen even from 175 miles away. It sent out signals that could be picked up by any radio operator all over the world. The reaction in the U.S. and around the world was pure awe, and some even felt a bit of fear. All of a sudden, there was an "enemy satellite" visibly shooting across the sky of the U.S. At the time, no one knew what it might be able to do. What U.S. government leaders did know, was that if the Soviet Union had rockets that were big enough to launch a satellite, they had rockets big enough to launch missiles, and possibly even atomic bombs, on the U.S. The "space race" between the Soviet Union and the United States was on. But our first attempts at catching up ended in massive failures; most ending in explosions. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was created in 1958 to bring competing military space programs into a single, huge effort. Before long, they developed the rockets, built the space capsules and satellites and hired people to become space men. The long term effects of the space race on the United States mostly was shown in the way the space race changed the educational system and the imaginations of the people. Not long after Sputnik, both the public, and the government, began calling for a greater emphasis on maths and sciences in the schools of the country. Governments put in more money to fund, and the educational system responded. Students began to take more and more math and science courses.
The Soviet Union shocked the world on November 3, 1957, with the launch of the second Sputnik mission. On board the rocket was a little dog, Laika, who was the first animal to orbit Earth. Laika was not the first animal in space, but rather the first to make an orbit. In the early days of rocket science, nobody knew what the possible effects of the weightless nature of speech would have on animals or humans. Animals, for the most part, dogs, monkeys and chimps, were used to test the safety and possibility of shooting a living animal into space, and bringing it back with no harm done. Laika was a young, mostly-Siberian husky, who was a stray from the streets of Moscow. Soviets...