The Space Race was an informal competition between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1957 to 1975. It involved the parallel efforts by each of those countries to explore space with artificial satellites, to send humans into space, and to land people on the Moon. Space was a crucial arena for this rivalry. Before a watchful world, each side wanted to demonstrate its superiority through impressive feats in rocketry and spaceflight. Secret satellites kept an eye on the adversary.The success of space race is directly linked to the evolvement of long range missiles, and here USSR scored a really important goal on August 21, 1957 with a successful test of the R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM.
The R-7 was 34 m long, 3 m in diameter and weighed 280 metric tons, it was two-stage, powered by rocket motors using liquid oxygen (lox) and kerosene and was capable of delivering its payload around 8,800 km, with an accuracy of around 5,000 m. A single nuclear warhead was carried with a nominal yield of 3 megatons of TNT (Mt of TNT).On 4 October 1957, the USSR successfully launched Sputnik 1 (In Russian Sputnik means satellite), the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, and the Space Race began. Because of its military and economic implications, Sputnik caused fear and stirred political debate in the United States. At the same time, the Sputnik launch was seen in the Soviet Union as an important sign of scientific and engineering capabilities of the nation.
In the Soviet Union the launch of Sputnik and the following program of space exploration were met with great interest from the public. For the country recently recovered from devastating war it was important and encouraging to see the proof of technical prowess in the new era.
[...] This was a technique which would be normal to use in the future. Surveyor's main goal was to map the entire surface of Mars with high resolution pictures. Therefore the satellite had to take pictures only on the right time of day, according to the position of the sun and its own position to assure the quality of the product returning to the earth. Surveyor was the first satellite to take a picture of another satellite orbiting another planet. The first picture was of the Mars Odyssey, and then it took a picture of Mars Express. [...]
[...] Kennedy, expressed the motivation for these American efforts as follows: the eyes of the world, first in space means first; second in space is second in everything.” The American public, initially discouraged and frightened by Sputnik, became captivated by the American projects which followed. Schoolchildren followed the succession of launches, and building replicas of rockets became a popular hobby. President Kennedy gave speeches encouraging people to support the space program and trying to overcome the scepticism of many who felt the millions of dollars might better go on building stocks of proven, existing armaments, or on fighting poverty in the country. [...]
[...] The end of the Space race prompted the U.S. administration officials to start negotiations with international partners Europe, Russia, Japan and Canada in the early 1990s, in order to build a truly international space station. How advanced is it today? The International Space Station (ISS) is today a manned research space facility that is currently being assembled in orbit around the Earth. It is a joint project between five space agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, United States), the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA, Russian Federation), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, Japan), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA, Canada) and the European Space Agency (ESA, Europe). [...]
[...] Chandrayaan craft project A new kind of space race . between commercial space firms The first space tourist (2001), Dennis Tito On the 28 April 2001, the American businessman Dennis Tito was the first "fee-paying" space tourist when he visited the International Space Station (ISS) for seven days. Even with a 20 million dollar ticket price, the Russian Space Agency managed to start this business and to sell space travels until 2009. Since 2001, three other space tourists flew to and from the International Space Station on Soyuz spacecraft: Mark Shuttleworth (South African in 2002), Gregory Olsen (American in 2005) and Anousheh Ansari (American / Iranian in 2006). [...]
[...] Though the achievements made by the US and the USSR brought great pride to their respective nations, the ideological climate ensured that the Space Race would continue at least until the first human walked on the Moon. Before this achievement, unmanned spacecraft had to first explore the Moon by photography and demonstrate their ability to land safely on it. After the Soviet successes, especially Gagarin's flight, President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson looked for an American project that would capture the public's imagination. [...]
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