The Cold War Era Space Race Vs. Current Space Race

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Cold War Era Space Race versus Current Space Race The first space race may have ended, but another one has just begun. The finish line is to put the first human on Mars. The current race is not one between two countries, but within one country among multibillion dollar corporations in the United States. The space race of the Cold War Era was one of great ingenuity and accomplishment which opened the door for space exploration and travel. These races do share one major similarity in that the goal of both was and is to make the United States a leader in space exploration; however, the reasons and participants in each race are very different. After World War II, during the Cold War era, the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States was a tense and competitive one with each wanting to maintain the role as the world’s superpower, especially militarily and technologically. The Soviet Union took the initiative to become superior in the space field by successfully launching the first artificial Earth satellite on October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1. Then, just one month later, on November 3, 1957, Russia launched the spacecraft, Sputnik 2, into orbit which had the first living passenger, a dog named Laika. “The United States, locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, realized that if the Russians had rocket technology that could launch a satellite into space, then they could also have the capability to launch nuclear warheads against their enemies” (McGill). Americans

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