The Space Race Essay

1376 WordsDec 22, 20056 Pages
The years after World War II was a time of great scientific and technological advancements. With these advancements came great tension and rivalry between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR). The biggest rivalry between the two superpowers was the advancement in space technology. In 1952, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) was established in which scientists stated that in the time between July 1, 1957 and December 31, 1958, solar activity would be at a high point. The IGY made it so that both the US and the USSR became determined to be the first to reach space, and so the space race was born. During the space race, the USSR made many launches that were very advanced and superior to the US.…show more content…
This launch was extraordinary because it put the first living mammal into space. "This satellite was much heavier than Sputnik 1, having two cabins, one for the equipment and controls and another for Laika, the dog. Laika's cabin provided her with oxygen, food, water and allowed the dog enough room to lie down and stand"(Siddiqi). It was predicted that Laika would live for ten days, but due to thermal problems inside the satellite she only survived for about two. At the time of Sputnik 2, there was no mention of the US even trying to send any living organism into space because they were still having trouble with regular satellite launches. This launch not only further emphasized the Soviet Union's superiority to the United States, but it also provided scientists with the first data of a living organism in space and foreshadowed the future in human space travel. By the anniversary of Sputnik 1, it seemed like the United States were catching up to the Soviet Union in terms of satellites launched. The US had now launched three Explorers and one Vanguard while the USSR had launched three Sputniks. Although the US had launched more satellite than the USSR, Sputnik 1 weighed more than all four of the US satellites combined and Sputnik 3 weighed and astonishing 2,950 pounds. The three US launches couldn't compare to the Soviet Union's launches because the Sputnik launches were so much more technologically advanced, once

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