Welcome to The Space and Arms Race!

USA vs. USSR! Both of these world powers are competing to go to the moon and developing powerful weapons!

flagwave2[1].gifVS. USSR_flag.gif

The Arms race:

In the 50s and 60s the USSR and the USA were in an arms race. This was between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. The arms race was a big part of this war; it was a fight between them over creating the ultimate weapon. In 1949 the Soviet Union exploded their own atomic weapon.

During this race the USSR and US invented both the atomic and hydrogen bomb. (Cheek)

The US and Soviet Union both develop more powerful atomic bombs.During this race they invented both the atomic and hydrogen bomb (Ridler).

In 1963 the USA, USSR, and Great Britain banned testing nuclear weapons underwater, in outer space, and in the war atmosphere. On the other hand, the USA and the Soviet Union started developing, building, and deploy strategic forces.

In 1970 the USSR and the USA made a treaty stating “none of the five (at the time) nuclear powers would transfer nuclear weapons to nonnuclear states or assist them in developing nuclear weapons.”

The two countries start using and relied on ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles). Countries had intercontinental bombers, USA had 630 and the Soviet Union had 190. It became obvious that a new delivery system for nuclear warheads had to be developed. Atomic weaponry could be placed on bombers. The bombers must be on the lookout so because of that planes where flying over bases at all times. The bombers where on the lookout for anti-aircraft's and if they were to see one they would shoot it down immediately. The number of planes carrying them that could reach their targets limited the usefulness of the warheads.

Hydrogen Bomb

In 1941 physicists Edward Teller and Enrico Fermi discussed a new kind of bomb, the hydrogen bomb. They had thought that this bomb would be more powerful then the Atomic bomb. In this list was the idea of pursuing the hydrogen bomb. This bomb had enough power to destroy a major city with one explosion. The US knew that if the USSR could make this bomb first they would not hesitate to fire it so they only way to stop them was to make it first. In November 1952 the US had developed the world’s first hydrogen bomb. Brinkmanship is a policy of threatening to go to war in response to any enemy aggression. It is also the willingness to go to the brink, or edge of war .

The Space Race

("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")
("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")

Soviet Russia Space Race

Soviet Russia; One of the largest superpowers of the space era pioneered what we now know as aeronautics and space travel. First to launch a satellite, and first to send a living being in to orbit; the Soviets were always years ahead in space technology than the rest of the world.

The USSR launched the first unmanned satellite, named Sputnik. ("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")

In 1957 the Soviets started the Space Race by launching Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, much to the surprise of the United States and the world. “Americans were stunned by the news that for the first time, an artificial satellite had been put into orbit around the earth—not by the United States, which had been assumed to be the world's technological leader, but by the Soviet Union” (Resch).
Laika was the first living creature to be launched into space. ("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")
Laika was the first living creature to be launched into space. ("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")

And so the Space Race began, with Russia taking an early lead. It didn’t take long before the first K-9, Laika, was then sent in to orbit not a month later.

And finally after many successes and tragic failures, the Soviets launched the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space. All these “firsts” send the powers of the world into a space frenzy. At first, space had been seen as a military advantage, and exploited it for missile use. “Germany developed the world's first long-range guided missiles during World War II” (Benson, Brannen, Valentine). While missiles were being developed by Germany, Russia was attempting the very same thing. Sergie Korolyev, the chief rocket designer, is regarded as the father of the Soviet space race. It was his work that allowed the Russians to forge ahead of the underfunded, under supported U.S. Space program. Although Sergie was sparked the space program, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky speculated breaking Earth’s gravitational pull as early as 1903.
----------------------------------------------------------------------**Click here to see the video on youtube**(YouTube - Laika - Space Dog.)

He published The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices, and even suggested that it could be achieved with a multistage rocket using hydrogen and oxygen for liquid fuel. His plans became the basis for the entire Soviet space program (Martin). All of these surprisingly ancient ideas and actions ultimately led to Russia almost wining the Space Race; however they also led to many technological advancements that shaped the world.

In 1960, Soviets shoot down American U-2 plane (spy plane), increasing tensions. These increasing tensions lead to separation of power, everyone scrambled to create alliances, NATO and Warsaw pact, and military tensions.

US in the Space Race!

The United States. One of the biggest super powers in the history of the known world. How did they manage to become so far behind in the race to break free of the Earth’s grasp? How did the Russians manage to catapult themselves so far ahead of the rest of the world? And how out of all, did the U.S. manage to win after being so far behind the rest of the world? The main reason: the USA provided little to know support for the project. Had they made space first priority, without a doubt they would have launched first.

The First Steps!

The first step was taken after the Cold War. A team of German scientists defected to the United States after having been forced to work on missiles by the Nazis. By 1956 they had created their first prototype, the Jupiter-C Redstone rocket. However, Eisenhower wanted to keep military and civilian access to space separate, and he did not see any need for a competition between nations, and the Redstone was abandoned. After the launch of Sputnik, the public demanded action, and so the United States launched their next prototype, the Vangaurd. The surprise of its designers, and the world, it was a tragic failure and an incredible embarrassment for all those involved. Finally the Redstone was approved, and the first American satellite, Explorer 1, was launched in 1958. Several launches later, on both the American and Soviet sides, congress passes the National Defense Education act. Promoting school funding, and federal aid to students (Resch).

Race To The Moon!

However, the real reason behind the United State’s lack in development was due to an absence of political and social backing. But then John F. Kennedy arrived on the scene, and pledged to land a man on the moon by 1971. The project was spearheaded by NASA, and in late 1966 project Apollo became the heart of the lunar program. The race was nearly over, however it would take 11 Apollo missions before the dream would be realized and man would finally walk on the moon.

The audio clip below is spoken by John F. Kennedy. He set the finish line for the Space Race. It turned out to be whoever lands on the moon, USSR or U.S., would be the winner of this competition.
(Link) View more American Presidents Sound Clips and John F. Kennedy Sound Clips(Hark)

The Eagle Has Landed

Eagle - The lunar craft that would take Armstrong and Aldrin to the surface of the moon. ("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")
Eagle - The lunar craft that would take Armstrong and Aldrin to the surface of the moon. ("The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed.")

The only way to show the world who was the best so far in space exploration was to land on the moon. So, the USA launched many space shuttles to finally know if they had the possibility of landing on the moon. The Eagle was a spaceship that carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

But there were several computer overloading codes that occurred, including code 1202 and 1201. Which both meant the computer was overloading. Listen to the following audio file; you can hear both of the codes.


"The Eagle has landed" said Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong also said "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Then, on July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts became the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon (Brannen, Beson, Valentine). America had done it; they had successfully gotten astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong onto the moon and back.


This race led to more than just scientific discovery, it created a new world. There were breakthroughs on the medical front, with life support and rehabilitation for trauma victims. It's the Space Race that helped launch us into the modern age.


"Apollo 11 Eagle Mooning Sound Clip and Quote." Hark: Sound Clips, Movie Quotes, and Ringtones. Hark Inc. Web. 10 May 2011. http://www.hark.com/clips/mfkhtlccys-apollo-11-eagle-mooning.

Cheek, Dennis W. "Atomic Bomb." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Ed. Carl Mitcham. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 134-137. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 May 2011.

Clark, Geri. "The Space Race and the Cold War." GaleNet. Gale Virtual Reference Library, 2005. Web. 04 May 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ retrieve.do?sgHitCountType= None>.

Clark, Geri. The Space Race and the Cold War. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale Group, 2005.

"ICBM." American Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 6: 1950-1959. Detroit: Gale, 2001. 414- 415. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 May. 2011

"One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind Sound Clip , Quote, MP3, and Ringtone." Hark: Sound Clips, Movie Quotes, and Ringtones. Hark Inc. Web. 10 May 2011. http://www.hark.com/clips/szgkkpwlbb-one-small-step-for-man-one-giant-leap-for-mankind.

Ridler, Jason S. "H-Bomb, Decision to Build." Americans at War; Ed. John P.
Resch. Vol. 4: 1946-Present. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 75-76. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 6 May. 2011.

"The Cold War Continued: Nuclear Arms Race, Arms Control, and Détente." American
Decades. Ed. Judith S. Baughman, et al. Vol. 7: 1960-1969. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 6 May. 2011.

"The Space Race - From Sputnik to The Eagle Has Landed." Astrocentral - Information on the Wonders of the Universe. FP-IMS, 28 Sept. 2008. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www.astrocentral.co.uk/race.html>.

"Video -- Space Race -- National Geographic." Video -- Animals, Travel, Kids -- National Geographic. National Geographic. Web. 05 May 2011. <http://video. nationalgeographic.com/video/ player/science/space-sci/ exploration/space-race-sci. html>.

YouTube - Laika - Space Dog. Dir. Lucy Dyson. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 2002. Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz7Xbo1m5XA>.