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The Space Race

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Essay title: The Space Race

Matt Flapan Mrs. Samuelson

Term Paper US History

Period 4 10/25/06

The Space Race was a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted roughly from 1957 to 1975. It involved both of those countries to explore outer space with artificial satellites, to send humans into space, and to land people on the Moon. Whoever got to space first would have advantage over the other country. The Space Race began after the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4th 1957. The Space Race became an important part of the technological rivalry between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War. Space technology became an extremely important aspect because of its potential military advances. President Dwight Eisenhower signs the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 into law, establishing NASA. The American program had been delayed because Eisenhower insisted that the space program should be a non-military operation, and that it should not make defense missiles for space exploration. Even though President Dwight Eisenhower did now want NASA to be in conflict would the military it would be an advantage if they teamed up so they could get advantages in space and war. Space exploration and satellite technology could feed into the cold war on both sides. Satellite equipment could spy on other countries, while space exploration could serve as propaganda for the country. (ABC-CLIO, Space Race) The same rockets that might send a human into space could send an atom bomb to an enemy city and they would not even know that it was coming because of where it would be coming from. With both super-powers up and running with their space programs, the next step was to put a man into space.

In 1958 The United States launches its first satellite, Explorer I, and Alan Shepard, Jr becomes the first American in space. Across the world Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to orbit the Earth. A Russian, Valentina Tereshkova, becomes the first

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