In the early 1950’s, the United States of America and the Soviet Union competed in the greatest race of all time.
This competition quickly gets the name of the race to space, more specifically the “race to the moon” by different journalist and reporters from both country Americans and Soviet. Many analysts and specialists of still confuse about the real reasons of this “race”, what start it, why they start it, why go on the moon. Two relevant articles inform us about this event which changes the world.One of them is written by Jennifer Rosenberg and that offers us a perspectives about the Americans side and what was they desire to do this space race against the Soviet. A totally different perspective is given by Wilson Michael in which he defends the Soviet side and explain what was they purposes. While they totally agree about who reach the moon first, they hardly disagree about who start the race.
According to Wilson Michael,professor and historian in a Seattle University the Space Race became a symbol of a broad political contest between two rival Powers: the U. S. and the Soviet Union. They both struggled to reach the moon. Before a watchful world, each side sought to demonstrate its superiority through impressive feats in rocketry and space. The Soviet Union put the first satellite into orbit, as well as the first human in space.
This project took place in late 1950’s. Sergei Kolorev , the Chief-designer of the program, is also known as the man who developed the world first intercontinental “ballistic missile” ( “Wilson Michael”34). The Soviet Union was determined with him at the head of this project.In October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union lunched Sputnik 1 the first satellite into orbit (“Wilson Michael” 34). This big event was a great advantage for the Soviet Union and the United States were surprised to find themselves behind the race to space. The Soviet Union next project was to lunch the first man on the moon .
This project was not that easy because they face many difficulties such as the most important one which was to find a place to build the machine which will be launched to the moon.During this time the United States was behind the Soviet Union cause they still struggling about what to do and they face also material difficulties (“Wilson Michael” 35). The Soviet Union was really determinate in that race and with the advantages that they have on the U. S they had time to do many test were made to guarantee travelling in space wouldn’t have a negative impact on men (“History Today” 36) In order to do so ,they first started by launching live dogs to evaluate the possible stress it could have on men and their work in space.Kolorev made many prototypes before reaching the “right one” (“Wilson Michael” 36) . The name was Voskhov.
This project was realized with many convictions and took about a year to be done. Yuri Gargarin was the astronaut chosen to go on the moon. He was one of the astronaut who worked with Kolorev on building the machine ( “Wilson Michael” 36). On April 12,1961 after many prototypes the Voskhov left from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with Yuri Gargarin on board.
He circled the planet for about 108 minutes before reentering the earth’s atmosphere.At about 4 miles above ground his ejection seat propelled him from the capsule and he parachuted to the ground (“Wilson Michael37). The project was then deemed as a failure. The failure was hard to accept. Still behind the Soviet Union four years later, President Kennedy's speech to Congress, on May 25, 1961,expressed his concern about the United States falling behind the Soviet Union in technology and prestige.
He then challenged the nation to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade ( “Wilson Michael” 38).Three years after the speech of President Kennedy,the Soviet Union where still working about the goal to be the first to put a man on the moon. On October 1964 the Soviet Union launched Voshokov with three man on the spacecraft. This expedition did not reach the moon but reach the space for the first time.
This was a great satisfaction for the Soviet Union after many years trying to be on the moon, this was the first step. Between March 1965 and November 1966 there were many launches but none of them got on the moon, they always stopped on space (“Wilson Michael”38).The Soviet Union did not reach their goal to be the first on the moon. Jennifer Rosenberg, professor and editorialist at the History today give more perspective about what the U. S did during this race and about their goal and their superiority in the world in her article “One Small Step On The Moon”. After many failures from the Soviet Union, the United States decided to get their chance and try to realize the wish of President Kennedy after many difficulties also, reach the moon before the end of the decade in the race to the moon : the Apollo 11 plan was put into place.
So before the end of the decade,on July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 is launched from the Kennedy Space Center after many years of work. On the ground they were over 3,000journalists, 7,000 dignitaries and approximately half and million tourists watching this momentous occasion. The event went smoothly and has scheduled (“Jennifer Rosenberg”32).But they had some difficulties to reach the moon and even the orbit because of problem that the Saturn V has to left the Apollo 11 behind and let it go the three-day journey on the moon called the translunar coast. “ Jennifer Rosenberg”32).
On July 20, 1969 at 4:18 p. m. EDT commander Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. Armstrong described the landing on the moon as "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. "A camera in the Lunar Module provided live television coverage as Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder to the surface of the moon. (“Jennifer Rosenberg” 32) The Lunar Module "Eagle" consisted of two parts: the descent stage and the ascent stage.
The descent state provided the engine used to land on the moon.It had four legs, a storage area for experimental gear, and a ladder for the crew to climb down to the moon's surface. The descent module also served as the launch platform for the ascent module when it came time to leave. To walk on the moon's surface, the astronauts needed to wear a space suit with a back mounted, portable life support system. This controlled the oxygen, temperature and pressure inside the suit.
On the surface, the astronauts had to get used to the reduced gravity. They could jump very high compared to on Earth. They spent a total of two and a half hours on the moon's surface.While on the moon's surface, they performed a variety of experiments and collected soil and rock samples to return to Earth. Also, an American flag was left on the moon's surface as a reminder of the accomplishment.
In later moon landings, the astronauts used the Lunar Rover vehicle to explore more of the moon's surface. After performing all the scientific experiments that were assigned to them, it was time for the astronauts to re-enter the earth's atmosphere. Parachutes opened to safely lower the Columbia into the Pacific Ocean.After landing in the Ocean, the crew was retrieved by a helicopter and taken to the recovery ship, the USS Hornet. "The crew and lunar samples were placed in quarantine until their health and safety could be confirmed.
The Command Module "Columbia" returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. Apollo 11 had successfully completed its mission and President Kennedy objective to land man on the moon and return them safely to Earth had been accomplished. (“Jennifer Rosenberg” 33). The U.
S did a great step and beat the Soviet Union by behind the first to put a man on the moon.After the moon landing, the triumph of the U. S over The Soviet Union was really hard to be accepted because the Soviet feel like they did so many great work by behind the first to reach the space and put the first orbit that the victory has been almost stolen. The confidence that the Soviet Union had was probably what leads them in a failure, the time and the non-specific plan for this great realization are probably some reasons also. The U.
S did a great work by working with probably any kind of time pressure and also the material at that time was more sophisticated that five or six years ago.The advantage was probably there and also the confidence and the realization of a solid plan was the secret of the success of the U. S over the Soviet Union. This event changed human race forever. Radios and televisions were tuned into to listen to the U.
S winning the space race a day that went down in the world’s history. The greatest day in history if we can call it as such inspired NASA into making several more trips to the moon in the following years. For the Soviet Union to see the United States succeed where they failed was difficult to accept.Their failure may be attributed to many things ,time being one of them . Three years after the Soviet Union’s last failure the United States took their time to analyze what was the right things to do and have the appropriate material needed. Let’s not forget to bring into play the economical and the infrastructure advantage the United States had in that race.
Despite everything the space race greatly increased the amount of scientists and improved education not only in both country but throughout the world. Moreover, it led to a smarter population today and demonstrated what man can do with effort and ingenuity.