How Did The Space Race Affect The Cold War?

983 Words4 Pages

How did the space race affect the Cold War?

The Space Race was an important component to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. After the end of World War II in 1945 the United States and the Soviet Union were the most powerful countries in the world, which led to many political conflicts. Since these countries had different ideas it caused them to enter the Cold War in 1947 (Schlesinger, 1967). While the Cold War was going on, the Space Race became another aspect of this competition. The purpose of the Space Race was to determine whether the United State or the Soviet Union had greater technology, power, and knowledge. These aspects created a rivalry between the two nations by intensifing the competition of the Cold …show more content…

The race continued until 1969 when Niel Armstrong set foot on the moon (Seedhouse 128). The first satellite the Soviet Union launched into orbit was called Sputnik and it came as an unpleasant surprise to many Americans (“The Space Race”). Historians argue that the Soviet Union won the space race on October 4 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, but most agree it was just the start to the race (Seedhouse 128). After the launch of Sputnik the United States launched their own satellite in 1958 called explorer 1 which was designed by the United States army. The race began to heat up and the Soviet Union launched Luna 2 which became the first space probe to hit the moon (“The Space Race”). By 1962 The United States was able to send the first person to orbit around Earth which led to the Apollo Project being put into place. The project was a part of President John F. Kennedy's plan to reach the moon before the end of the decade (Seedhouse 195). The Apollo project hit its first major setback in January 1967 after an aircraft caught on fire killing three astronauts. A year prior to this strategy the chief engineer of the Soviet space program passed. By 1968 the United States sent out Apollo 8 which successfully orbited the moon. A year after the Apollo 8 mission the Apollo 11 space mission set off on July sixteenth and Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon (“The …show more content…

The United States viewed the space race as a way to stop the spread of communism and prevent the spread of the Soviet Union's influence on Western European nations including France, Italy, and Greece (“The Space Race”). They also used their acomplishments to create new alliances or strengthen old ones as well as spread capitalism. While In the Soviet Union the race and war were seen as a way to strengthen and expand the communist system. They used their success to showcase the superiority of communism (Schlesinger,

Show More

More about How Did The Space Race Affect The Cold War?

Open Document