The Arms Race and the Space Race

arms race:

spae race:

At a time where technology was constantly advancing and people were finding new ways to use it to enhance their weaponry, the arms race (August 1945- early 1990’s ) was a key point in history between the USSR and the USA as it was a key factor which further determined which super power was the best. The same could be said about the space race (1957 – 1975) as it was a competition to see who could make history by placing the first person on the moon.

The arms race began when the USA dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima which started an era of nuclear activity between countries and a test to see which country could possess the most damaging bomb of all. Upon witnessing the sheer power of an atomic bomb, the USSR conducted their first nuclear test in 1949. At the end of 1956, the United States had 2,123 strategic warheads and the Soviet Union had 84. Those numbers increased rapidly over the subsequent 30 years. The U.S. arsenal peaked in 1987 at 13,002 warheads, the Soviet Union two years later at 11,320. The end of the Cold War by the early 1990s effectively ended that arms race.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” or so the saying goes, however little is known about the cause for wanting to go to moon in the first place. Sure it would be a great achievement for mankind however, it was also a way for the USA to get one over the USSR in showing their superiority. Although the USA was the first to send mankind to the moon, the USSR were first to being able to successfully launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, into orbit in October 1957. This was then quickly followed by Sputnik II which had contained a canine passenger however the USA, in contrast, failed to respond effectively, and it took several attempts and several months before launching its own satellite, Explorer I, in January 1958.

Between the two countries, many rivalries lay ahead of them as they began to compete over many things in order to show who was the most superior.


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