Alan Shepard's Impact On The Space Race

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The Space Race refers to the 20th century competition for dominance of space flight capability during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. They both sought to prove their superiority in its technology, military power, and extensively their political-economic systems. Between 1957 and 1975, space programs were established and man was sending satellites and their own people into space. The Space Race impacted both countries and paved the way for current technologies used today.
On October 1, 1957, the Soviet Union launched its first satellite. Sputnik became known as the world’s first artificial satellite in space. It weighed 184 pounds in was 32 inches in diameter. Sputnik orbited the Earth every 98 minutes and traveled …show more content…

In his early years, he skipped sixth and eighth grade. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1944 and served in the Navy for a while before being selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School. Shepard became a wingman in the VF-193, a night fighter squadron, to Commander James Ramage of Air Group 19. He then later became an instructor at the test pilot school and in graduated the Naval War College in 1957. After graduation, he became an Aircraft Readiness Officer on the staff of the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet. At the end of 1957, Shepard had logged 36,000 flying hours. He was then recruited by NASA and placed in the first group of 35, which was shown to be the most promising candidates for Project Mercury. On January 19, 1961, the director of NASA’s space task group chose Shepard after the group had been narrowed to seven prime …show more content…

His scheduled flight was postponed multiple times and gave Russia the successful chance to send the first man into space. Shepard eventually launched on May 5, 1961. He named his spacecraft, Mercury Spacecraft 7, Freedom 7. Alan Shepard became known as the second person in space and the first American in space.
As technology advanced, the Soviet Union and American space programs continued to advance and compete against each other. Physical sciences and a great emphasis on math was introduced in American school systems and the number of space operations grew. Many satellites were sent into space, space crews were launched, and the Americans stepped foot on the moon. The space race and its technological advancements allowed both Russia and America to

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