By: Cole Hagedorn
The “Space Race” was a showdown between the Soviet Union and The United
States of America, the goal was to beat the other into a pulp, revealing the true champion, democracy or communism. This race was a challenge, who could put a man on the moon first. The Space Race reflected political, social, and economic features for both countries, through this war. Neither wanted to back down, no matter what the other threw at them. This was a must win war for Democracy, and the Soviet Union was already four months ahead.
The political aspects of the “Space Race” were anything that had to deal with
communism or democracy. When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, a small twentythree inch satellite into space, it was like a shot to the gut for the United States, and this even scared our Government. “The claim that who controlled space would control the Earth seemed plausible, and the Soviet Union had taken the first step towards the control.” said Logsden, a director of the the space institute. If they had the ability to put something into space, could they spy on us as well? This made the US spend hundreds of billions of dollars in a program, called NASA. If we were going to beat the Soviets, we would need to put something into space, quick.
Anything that had to do with the budget is economic. The United States had to
spend a ton of money because of all of the failed attempts to match the Soviet Union.
Our budget doubled every year from 1958 until about 1966. The money was coming out of our defense budget. The Government was actually ignoring their fiscal officers, who told them about their bookkeeping concerns! They put their smartest men on this project. The Soviet Union on the other hand, was already in space. After watching
NASA’s pathetic failing attempts at getting into space, they were sitting pretty comfortably, possibly too comfortable. The United States was learning from their failures. All of this was terrifying for the citizens for the United States. What they felt, saw, or experienced was the social aspects of the Space Race. At the beginning of this war, the American people were horrified of what they thought the future held for them. What if we cannot surpass the Soviets? Are they always spying on us? One of Johnson’s aides stated, “ Now, somewhere, the sky seemed almost alien. I also remember the profound shock of realizing that it might be possible for another nation to achieve technological superiority over this great country of ours. The simply fact is that we can no longer consider the Russians to be behind us in technology. It took them four years to catch up to our atomic bomb and nine months to catch up to our hydrogen bomb.
Now we are trying to catch up to their satellite.”
Everything changed on December 21st, 1968 when Nikolai Petrovich Kamanin, head of the cosmonaut corps, in the Kamanin, that U.S. had finally passed the…