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Space Race Affect Cold War Essay

1792 words - 8 pages

The space race was an important aspect of the Cold War. Both the Soviet Union and the United States wanted to prove who the superior superpower was. Each had launched satellites with varying degrees of success until the U.S had ultimately landed on the moon.The space race was more than just space exploration, it was about proving who was more superior, who had better technology, it helped to gain the confidence of the citizens throughout the war. It was not seen as just a race to the moon but as the U.S versus the Soviet Union, Capitalism versus Communism.The space race helped improve today’s technology and educational system, but to understand how it affected today’s world you must ...view middle of the document...

S and the Soviet Union both had nuclear weapons, the entire world would be at risk if one side decided to use those weapons. One of the first examples of proxy warfare during the Cold War was the Greek Civil War which is where the Truman Doctrine comes into play. The Truman Doctrine states that the U.S would give Greece and Turkey support so they wouldn’t fall into communism against the Soviets. Other examples of proxy warfare were the Korean War, where the Soviet Union assisted the communists in North Korea against the United Nations forces. In the Vietnam War the Soviet Union helped train the Vietcong but never entered and fought in the war directly unlike the United States (Merriam-Webster).
With proxy warfare being used, the next turn in the Cold War began with a period of time when both countries began looking into space exploration. By the late 1950’s, the Cold War had turned to another type of contest to show which nation was superior to the other, which became called the space race. The U.S and the Soviet Union both wanted to be the leader of space exploration. In October of 1957, the Soviet Union launched their first satellite, named Sputnik.Sputnik was just a test launch and sent meaningless signals back to earth but the effect it had on the citizens and government of the United States was profound(Cold War pg.1-2).
When Sputnik was launched into orbit it was known around the world. The Soviet engineers wanted it to be known that they were successful in the launch and made it possible for amateur radio operators around the world to hear the “beeping” from the signal.With the citizens of the United States being capable to hear the satellite and know it was orbiting above their homes, it casted a fear among them.The United States government did not know what Sputnik was capable of doing, but they did know that if the Soviets were able to launch satellites into space, they would be able to have atomic bombs reach the United States. The launch of Sputnik is what is believed to have begun the space race (Cold War pg.2-4).
The successful launch of Sputnik was considered the first victory for the Soviet Union in the space race. In an attempt to even the score, the U.S began building and testing rockets, but their efforts were not as successful as the Soviets were. Newspapers around the United States reported of these failed attempts by the U.S, calling the U.S version of sputnik “flopnik” and headlines like “Oh What a Flopnik!” in some newspapers. With the media comparing the efforts of the Soviet Union and the U.S in space exploration, it was obvious the United States was losing. The United States government knew they would have to step up and accomplish something to boost the confidence and gain the support of their citizens again.
Even though the Soviet’s satellite did not accomplish anything it still affected the U.S citizens. In all the newspapers they saw the failed attempts of the U.S in pictures of blown up...

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