Cold War Arms Race

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Introduction The cold war emerged shortly after the end of the Second World War and the two main protagonists were the US and USSR. The period was marked by tense relationship and characterized by propaganda, threats, subversion and open hostilities which fell short of war between, between the two. The arms race led increased innovation and invention of weapons as both countries raced to stockpile weapons for deterrence purposes. The existential threat arising from the cold war and the arms race pushed both countries to allocate massive investments in scientific innovations aimed at keeping each side one step ahead of the other. This resulted into a progression of scientific innovation between the two main protagonists.
Innovations in the space sector Significant innovations and discoveries took place in the realm of space science during this period. As Macdonald (1985 24) alludes, the soviets fired the first salve by the launching of the sputnik satellite into orbit in 1957 and sending the first man in space in 1961.The United States retaliated by setting up of the national aeronautical and space administration (NASA) to spearhead American space technology and followed up by sending the first on the moon in 1969. The setting up of NASA was followed shortly by the Defense Advanced Research Projects
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These disciplines assumed greater geopolitical importance as the protagonists sought to gather data for accurate ballistic missiles, detecting clandestine nuclear testing, radiation leaks, tracking submarine paths and monitoring of electronic signals. Research in these areas led to the advent of geographical information systems (GIS) remote sensing, satellite photography and the invention of the Global positioning systems (GPS) which have revolutionized mapping and

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